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Ireland get World Rugby feedback that three offside penalties were incorrect

Joe Schmidt said two of the calls came from Jerome Garces, who refs the clash with Russia on Thursday.

JOE SCHMIDT SAYS Ireland have received confirmation from World Rugby that three of the offside penalties awarded against his team in last weekend’s shock defeat to Japan were incorrect decisions.

Schmidt criticised referee Angus Gardner two days before Ireland’s clash with the Japanese and then hinted at his frustrations with the Australian post-match too.

joe-schmidt Joe Schmidt was unhappy with the refereeing of his team against Japan. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Having submitted his usual deeply-detailed referee review to World Rugby in the aftermath of the game, Schmidt has received the nod that some of the nine penalties Gardner awarded against his team were wrong.

“We did put ourselves on the back foot and partly went onto the back foot,” said Schmidt today when asked what he has learned from the Japan defeat.

“We were penalised for offside four times and we’ve now got the feedback that three of those were incorrect calls. People were asking us about our discipline.

“It’s pretty hard to keep getting off the line and onto the front foot when you are getting those calls. Two of them were from an AR [assistant referee, Jerome Garces] who is going to be refereeing us on Thursday, so we know we’re going to have to be on our best behaviour.

“One thing I would say about this team is that, generally speaking, it’s unusual for us to have a higher penalty count than our opponents, so it’s frustrating.

“I thought Wayne [Barnes] did a super job [in Ireland's first game against Scotland].

“I know that, to a degree, Scotland were happy with how Wayne went in the first game as well. That’s our fault if we were on the wrong side of the penalty count there but I do think we’ve got to try to look after that as best we can.

“We’ve got to make sure that we don’t become passive in a game to an opposition that are playing in front of their home crowd. You’d have to be really impressed with the way that Japan got themselves back into the game.”

French referee Jerome Garces, having called in two of those incorrect offside calls to Gardner last weekend, will now be the man in the middle as Ireland look to bounce back against Russia in Kobe on Thursday.

joe-schmidt Schmidt at Ireland training in Kobe today. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Schmidt has made 11 personnel changes and two further positional changes, with Johnny Sexton named captain for the first time.

Jordi Murphy starts at number eight having only linked up with the squad yesterday as an injury replacement for Jack Conan, but Schmidt feels the Ulster back row is ready.

“He trained unbelievably well today,” said the Ireland boss. “He is straight off the flight, he got in late Sunday, so he’s at least had a couple of nights. He was feeling good yesterday.

“One of the things is that it is a 7.15pm game so that’s around midday in Irish terms [11.15am], so he doesn’t have to recalibrate himself too much to get out and play the game, hopefully.

“We’ll give him the weekend then after that. So we are just asking for him to do the best he can for us. The one thing with Jordi is that you seldom get anything other than that. He’s a really good performer for us and we’d have a lot of confidence about him being able to slot straight in.”

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Ireland trained against the Kobe Steelers today, with Schmidt very pleased with the session against the Top League champions, who are coached by Kiwis Wayne Smith and Dave Dillon.

“They were brilliant, absolutely brilliant,” said Schmidt. “We regularly train against the Ireland U20s and it was a relatively young Kobe side. They didn’t have some of their big overseas stars there like Dan Carter, but the energy they brought, and not only that but they counter-rucked us a couple of times and gave us a good old bashing.

peter-omahony Ireland trained against the Kobe Steelers today. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“It just reminds us that we’ve got to be big enough to look after our own ball. Even if the entry is coming in the side, for us to get our wide base and drop our height and get our hips down to make sure that we’re in a really strong position, it was an ideal hit-out for us.

“Sometimes energy is contagious in training like that and they brought plenty with them.

“Obviously, Wayne Smith is part of their coaching line-up but so is Dave Dillon, who spent a bit of time in St Michael’s [in Dublin].

“He would know Luke McGrath and James Ryan pretty well from his time working at St Michael’s so it was a nice Irish connection for us and a really good session with an energised group.”

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Murray Kinsella  / Reports from Kobe

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