Slow start in Scotland still lingers

Ireland aim to get up and running from the first whistle this weekend

BY Simon Maguire 15:31 Thursday 9 February 2017, 15:31 9 Feb 2017

Scotland's Stuart Hogg celebrates scoring their second try with Greig Laidlaw. Image: ©INPHO/Craig Watson

Ireland's slow start at Murrayfield ultimately cost them the match in their opening Six Nations clash with Scotland last weekend.

The team arrived late at the ground which thus interuppted their pre-match preparations. Commenting on the topic at the team announcement earlier today, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt said: "I think it's incredibly disappointing the way we started last weekend. I don't think it was apathy, it was a bit of anxiety at not having the full period to warm up.

"Players get anxious, they get very routine based and I do think it's a challenge for a professional player to be adaptable to different circumstances that they can still cope and still start well. We were really disappointed with the way we started.

"They scored three tries in that first 25 minutes - they didn't score another try after that and I think that reflects what the team are capable of but unfortunately then you're chasing things," he added.

Scotland's Stuart Hogg scores their second try. Image: ©INPHO/Craig Watson

Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray echoed the coaches sentiments saying: "The start we made in Scotland was particularly disappointing. What we did in the second half and at the end of the first half showed what we can do as a team.

"We've another challenge and that's what we have to look forward to - looking back isn't going to do us too much good.  

Referring specifically to the affect arriving late had on the squad, Murray said: "We all had enough time to warm up, enough time to get ready for that time difference in arriving to the stadium and warm up and starting a bit differently but no, I wouldn't put it down to that.

"As a group of players we prepared really well during the week - we started a lot slower than Scotland did. They came out of the blocks - not that it surprised us but it shocked us a little bit and we should have been ready for that and we weren't," he added.    

Off The Ball


The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week