Declan Kidney was pleased to secure a top-eight ranking. ©INPHO/Billy Stickland
happy chappie

Declan Kidney hails 'great day' for Ireland after Argentina blow-out

The Irish coach was delighted with the effort of his pack and international newcomers Simon Zebo and Craig Gilroy.

IRELAND COACH DECLAN KIDNEY was thankful that thin margins of international rugby went in his side’s favour at the Aviva Stadium.

Ireland’s 46-24 victory over Argentina has secured them a top-eight world ranking ahead of next month’s World Cup 2015 draw in England.

Speaking to RTÉ after the match, Kidney said his overriding feeling was ‘just delight really’.

He added, “[Rankings] are so important in terms of the draw. The aim is to just go about and win every game that you can. The rest looks after itself.”

Kidney commented that it was amazing to see what can happen when the bounce of a ball goes in one’s favour.

He said, “Small things make a huge difference. We kicked off on the full and they got a penalty, the ball comes off the post.

These games are on thin margins. We’ve lost a few this year by thin margins but, today, we just had a few things seem to go right for us.

“Obviously,” he added, “with the tries we scored, it gave us the confidence coming out for the second-half and other than falling away at the end there it was a great day.

Second-half push

Much of the talk before the match centred around Ireland’s inability to hold onto a half-time lead so Kidney purred about a 15-point haul just after the break.

“We knew that was vital after the South Africa match,” he said.

“The fact that we played the advantage off the penalty [on 47 minutes], the boys saw that there was space in behind and Tommy [Bowe] took it with his speed. We’ve a bit of that in the back three.”

The coach insisted that his team would not get too carried away with the emphatic win.

He declared, “One good day doesn’t make a season. It doesn’t make up for everything that has happened in the last 12 months but it is certainly a good way to end the season.”

Re-hauling the squad

Kidney was keen to point out the number of new caps [five] handed out by Ireland during the November Series and name-checked Simon Zebo, Craig Gilroy and the ‘exceptional’ Chris Henry. He added:

If you look at the squad we had this weekend – we had 17 changes from the 30 that went to the World Cup. That’s quite an overhaul.”

Kidney said there would be plenty of competition for places once the likes of Brian O’Driscoll, Sean O’Brien and Rob Kearney returned to the international fold.

“We know that we have a huge amount of work to do before we rock up against Wales in the Six Nations [next February],”

He paid credit to the Irish supporters and their willingness to put ‘their hands in their pockets’ to cheer the side on.

Kidney said, “We know that there’s tough times outside, a bit of negativity outside, but the boys rose above that and look what it was possible to achieve.”

As it happened: Ireland v Argentina, November Tests

Match report: Seven-try Ireland rout Argentina

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