Irish are a car in need of fine-tuning, says Schmidt

Ross Houston
November 14, 2018

Kieran Marmion, who may have put himself in the driving seat at scrumhalf in Murray's absence after doing what Schmidt described as a "super job" in a sharp, try-scoring performance, should be fine after rolling his ankle, the coach said.

Meanwhile, New Zealand has called up Ngani Laumape to replace injured Sonny Bill Williams for the Dublin Test, Hansen confirmed on Monday morning (AEDT).

"It's not the injury, it's really just how ready Conor is and how fully fit he is", Schmidt continued.

"I've never played against a team that would capitalise on a look through the Rugby Championship - the amount of times you think Australia and South Africa have them under the pump and next thing they're underneath their own posts".

"We shouldn't really be giving them to Kiwis anyway, because we want to get as much green in there, as much volume supporting us as possible".

"Joe rang me up and just said: "you haven't played", which was really fair enough".

The Six Nations champions eventually pulled away from the plucky Pumas through Luke McGrath's try and Johnny Sexton's penalty in the final 15 minutes.

"He carried down the left wing a couple of times, he carried through the middle a few times, defensively he was strong and got some good pressure on the ball and that's what you want from a seven". If they think they are right to play, let them play.

Sexton helped Ireland beat New Zealand in 2016 in Chicago to end a 111-year drought, and said they want to add a first win at home, too.

"I think it demonstrates that we need to get the auto tuned", Schmidt said.

Hansen said he wasn't trying to stir up any mind tricks around the Murray selection after last month suggesting the discussion around Murray might just be an "Irish trick".

Flanker Sean O'Brien is out with a broken arm, centre Robbie Henshaw was a late withdrawal with a hamstring tightness and will be monitored this week.

Hansen also spoke about the regard that Schmidt is held in back in New Zealand, having taken Ireland from number nine to number two in the world rankings, as well as a first ever victory over the All Blacks.

Hansen is also contracted until the Rugby World Cup, where his side will seek an unprecedented third successive title and fourth overall, with speculation growing in New Zealand over who might replace him if he does step down.

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