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Ireland attack coach Catt believes 'the way we're going is the right way'

The Irish attacking effort against France two weekends ago was underwhelming.

Ireland attack coach Mike Catt.
Ireland attack coach Mike Catt.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

IRELAND ATTACK COACH Mike Catt said he believes the team’s attack is moving in the right direction despite criticism of their efforts in the Six Nations defeat to France two weekends ago.

Ireland’s only try of that game came from a lucky bounce after France had stolen an Irish lineout, with Catt’s charges manufacturing just two linebreaks in the 80 minutes.

Their tactics of kicking from two set-piece platforms in the first half also raised eyebrows, while Ireland missed a number of clear opportunities to pass the ball into space out wide against the French.

However, Catt today underlined his belief that progress is being made.

“Every team wants to score four or five tries in every game, they want to go out and express themselves,” said Catt. “Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

“Where we currently are, we firmly believe the way we’re going is the right way. We probably could have scored two or three extra tries against Wales with 14 men with the opportunities we created, against France as well. 

“It’s about making sure that at this level, players understand that you have to nail what you create. We’ve obviously been pretty disappointed in terms of our finishing, but ultimately the players have to get that right for this weekend.”

Catt pointed to the players’ responsibility out on the pitch again when asked if Ireland need to simplify things in attack ahead of this weekend’s clash with Italy.

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“No, not at all,” said Catt. “We carry on doing what we’re doing. Like I’ve always said, it’s a decisions-based game. Rugby is about the decisions you make.

“We’re happy with what we’re creating but then it’s the final pass or the final decision or putting ourselves in the right part of the pitch that can create pressure on the opposition. 

“I don’t think we did that well enough against France so these are all things that the players will have to make sure they get right for the weekend.”

Catt accepted that recent criticism of Ireland’s attack has been justified, but stressed his hope that things move up a gear in Rome on Saturday.

“If you’re not scoring tries, everybody has got room to criticise, haven’t they? How many did France score against us…

“Listen, when you’re playing against a Wales side with 14 men… you look back to the Six Nations, the Nations Cup and stuff, we have scored some good tries, we’ve scored some very exciting tries, the players have done exceptionally well.

“Circumstances haven’t let us do that in this campaign at the moment, so that’s why the focus for this weekend is making sure we can get a foothold in the game and go and do what we’re good at.”

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