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Joe Schmidt and Rory Best '...

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Joe Schmidt and Rory Best 'reasonably happy' with draw

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

07:23 7 Feb 2016


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Joe Schmidt and Rory Best are relatively happy following Ireland's draw with Wales at the Aviva Stadium today, given the circumstances. 

Both men feel that a draw is far from ideal and would usually leave them downtrodden, but they can be satisfied with it after coming back from 16-13 with just minutes left on the clock. 

"Its a strange result, a draw. You know nobody's overly happy with it but I think at 16-13 and you look at the Welsh defense, I think we're reasonably happy with a draw." said Best.

He continued "I think for us its about concentrating on the bits of the performance we're very happy with and the bits of the performance we know we can do a lot better with.

"I think we started really well but the flip side of that is we're obviously disappointed with the last ten minutes of that (1st) half when we let them back into it when we had a good firm hold of the game

"A draw keeps us in it and keeps us in the championship and its a lot better than a loss."

Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

Schmidt shared similar sentiments too;

"They had the wind they, they had territory and they had possession in the second half and at the end of the game to come back from 16-13 down and get those last three points you feel it is a better result than a draw normally would be."

In regards to a six day turnaround before the French game, Schmidt feels it will be a 'monumental task'. 

He added "We can't afford to be so narrow defensively, we can get away with that against Wales but its a big risk playing France.

"The width they played with was pretty impressive at times and I think your just gonna have to be careful.

"They're audacious at the moment in what they're looking to deliver and if they make it work they could run up a big score in a real hurry.

"We're just going to have to make sure we're clinical with the ball and try not to allow them too many opportunities."

The Kiwi coach also gave an injury update following knocks to Johnny Sexton, Tommy O'Donnell and Keith Earls, with a positive outlook expected ahead of next week, with Earls being the only real concern.

Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Schmidt feels Ireland are well stocked at outhalf as well with concerns about Sexton's ongoing fitness issues, believing that Ian Madigan would have been more than capable of slotting the equalising score.

"The one thing I have is real confidence in Ian Madigan to come on and take a kick. 

"He did against France, he was only on a couple of minutes in that Pool match and he came on and kicked a longer goal than that.

"Madigan can run the game and he can slot in there and we're quietly confident Paddy Jackson is coming into that sort of area as well so that behind Johnny there are a couple guys who can do a job for us."

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