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'You can't do something alien to you' | Quinlan on Ireland's lack of offloads

Eoin Harte
Eoin Harte

10:17 21 Oct 2019


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Alan Quinlan was on Monday’s OTB AM and spoke about Ireland’s inability to change their attacking style when being well beaten by the All Blacks.

Joe Schmidt’s side had utilised a conservative but effective gameplan in 2018 which brought them great success.

However, in 2019 the side appeared to have been figured out. Regardless, Ireland stuck to their gameplan which proved to be increasingly predictable and easy to defend against.

While many fans were asking Schmidt to bring something new to the side, Quinlan explained that it is not easy to fundamentally change a team's style of play.

“If you practice something for so long you can’t just switch over and do something that’s alien to you. That is an issue.

“So it comes from probably a young age and also from the way we play the game in the Northern Hemisphere,” Quinlan commented.

The case for a more offloading, attacking game was even more apparent in 2015 when no side from the Northern Hemisphere made the World Cup semi-finals.

While England and Wales have made it to the last four this time around, the former Munster player believes that the Southern Hemisphere style is still king.

“Is it a case of the weather here and the style in the Northern Hemisphere is to kick a little bit more and maybe keep it tighter?

“It probably is because when kids are there they run around in their bare feet. They’re playing sevens and throwing the ball around the whole time.

“Sometimes it’s a case of individual brilliance as well. If you look at Semi Radradra for Fiji - he was just sensational to watch.

“[Leone] Nakarawa as well, the second-row who plays for Racing 92, we all know him from Glasgow. Every time he goes into contact he looks for an offload.

“It’s just in their DNA. New Zealand had 16 offloads the other night. We had two,” Quinlan explained.

For now, Ireland must look ahead to a new era under Andy Farrell in which many new faces will have to be brought in ahead of preparation for the next Rugby World Cup.

Over in Japan, only four teams remain, with one of New Zealand, England, South Africa and Wales soon to be crowned as world champions.

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