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Dublin: 0 °C Thursday 17 January, 2019

'Samoa the appetiser, there's a double main course to come' -- Schmidt

The new Ireland coach is already moving on to Australia and New Zealand.

Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

IRELAND COACH JOE Schmidt was in typically grounded mood after his opening game in charge.

Ireland defeated the visitors 40 – 9 thanks to tries from Peter O’Mahony, Sean O’Brien, Fergus McFadden and two from Dave Kearney.

Despite the five try to nil win, the Kiwi called on his squad to make a ‘big step up’ before next week’s Test against Australia.

Speaking to RTE post-match, Schmidt summed up the game as “untidy, earnest, some good endeavour, but not the accuracy we’re looking for.

“I just think out ball security wasn’t great,” he added with refreshing frankness. “We turned over six ball in the first half just from poor handling and I think you’ve got to be a lot better than that.

“You can’t offer full strength sides those opportunities and with the Wallabies next week that’s a risk we can’t afford to take.”

Even Brian O’Driscoll, who opened up the game with a superb 45th minute piece of skill, came in for some criticism.

Great little pass between his legs,” said Schmidt before moving onto to a teaser of what’s in store for O’Driscoll and the rest of  the players in Monday’s video analysis session.

“A couple of defensive reads he’ll look at again and a couple of things early in the game where we maybe forced offloads that we didn’t have to.

“While we’re looking to play with a tempo we want to play with a tempo where we’re accurate enough to make sure we don’t afford an opportunity to the opposition.”

One win from one for the new coach then, but he’s hungry for more.

“We need a reality check on Monday, we’ve got a big step up to make next week – It’s kind of like the appetiser and there’s a double main course to come.”

GIF: O’Driscoll genius opens up Samoan defence

Player ratings: here’s how the Irish team got on against Samoa

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Sean Farrell

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