Schmidts Ireland focused on delivering big performance to end Six Nations on

first_img By Ryan Bailey 12,779 Views “If we start to give England easy access through penalties, knock ons and missed tackles, that’s when they’re going to come into the game but if we can go out and play close to the perfect game – and you’ll never get a perfect game, because regardless the result both teams will come in tomorrow and say ‘we can always improve’, but you’ve got to be close to that and the closer you get the more pressure it puts on the opposition.“Sometimes it’s through tactics like Italy pulled, other times it’s just playing the game really, really well. We’ll want to surprise them with a few things, but at the same time we’ll want to execute everything we control as well as we can.”Ireland:15. Jared Payne14. Keith Earls13. Garry Ringrose12. Robbie Henshaw11. Simon Zebo10. Jonathan Sexton9. Kieran Marmion1. Jack McGrath2. Rory Best (Capt)3. Tadhg Furlong4. Donnacha Ryan5. Iain Henderson6. CJ Stander7. Sean O’Brien8. Jamie HeaslipReplacements16. Niall Scannell17. Cian Healy18. John Ryan19. Devin Toner20. Peter O’Mahony21. Luke McGrath22. Paddy Jackson23. Andrew ConwayEngland:15. Mike Brown14. Anthony Watson13. Jonathan Joseph12. Owen Farrell11. Elliot Daly10. George Ford9. Ben Youngs1. Joe Marler2. Dylan Hartley (captain)3. Dan Cole4. Joe Launchbury5. Courtney Lawes6. Maro Itoje7. James Haskell8. Billy VunipolaReplacements:16. Jamie George17. Mako Vunipola18. Kyle Sinckler19. Tom Wood20. Nathan Hughes21. Danny Care22. Ben Te’o23. Jack NowellSubscribe to The42 Rugby Show podcast here: iTunes Share Tweet Email Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Saturday 18 Mar 2017, 12:00 PM WHAT PROMISED TO be a thrilling finale to the Six Nations has threatened to become an underwhelming anticlimax from an Irish perspective, but Joe Schmidt’s side are focused on ending the campaign on a high at the Aviva Stadium [KO 5pm, RTE 2] this evening.Captain Rory Best yesterday admitted it has been a tough week in the aftermath of the defeat in Cardiff last Friday and Ireland would have done an element of soul-searching in the build-up to their final outing.Irrespective of what is said by Schmidt and his players, this has been a disappointing campaign for Ireland and a third defeat of the championship later would potentially leave only Italy below them in the final standings.There may be nothing tangible on the line for the hosts, but there is certainly plenty at stake with pride, world ranking points and the small element of denying England a Grand Slam all serving as motivation.Above all, however, is a determination to produce a big performance at home after defeats to Scotland and Wales ended any hope of a Grand Slam decider.England arrive in Dublin bristling with confidence and as Six Nations champions for the second consecutive year. Eddie Jones’ men are bidding for a win that would see them set a new record of 19 consecutive Test victories by a top tier nation.Victory at Lansdowne Road would also mean they would become the first side in the Six Nations era to complete back-to-back Grand Slams.“I think big games always require a massive physical effort obviously but it requires real, real mental strength because it’s going to come down to fine margins,” Best said. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO“A lot of it is the team which makes the fewest mistakes will win. The team that have the mental fortitude and courage to go out and take those opportunities when they are there will also win so from that side of things it does take a massive one.“To say they’re playing for a Grand Slam, but we’ve got a home record we want to keep intact. We’re back in front of our home fans. There has been a lot made about this game so there is pressure on from that side for us. Look, ultimately we want to finish with a massive result. I don’t think that their want is any more than ours.”There’s also the extra dimension which comes in a Lions year as players from both sides battle for places in Warren Gatland’s squad for the tour of New Zealand this summer.Conor Murray is a near certainty to be included but Ireland will be without the influential scrum-half today as he misses out through injury, in one of three changes Schmidt has made to his XV from Cardiff.Connacht’s Kieran Marmion deputises at nine and while Murray’s absence has only heightened the size of the task facing Ireland, Best has backed his replacement to step in and fill the void.“It is a massive day for him,” the captain admitted. “You just have to look at the way he’s performing, not just last season, but this season for Connacht. It is something he deserves.“He is very unlucky he is behind a real world-class nine. It is his day. We always talk that you get your opportunity along the line through someone else’s misfortune.“His opportunity has come now. For Kieran in his first start in the Six Nations, it is important we give him a big armchair ride because it will make the job easier. Mar 18th 2017, 12:00 PM Ireland ‘owe’ themselves a big performance, says Rory Best. Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO Short URL Ireland ‘owe’ themselves a big performance, says Rory Best. 18 Comments Schmidt’s Ireland focused on delivering big performance to end Six Nations on a high It’s not the Grand Slam finale we all wanted, but there is still plenty on the line for Ireland as they host England at the Aviva Stadium later. Android Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO“Having said that, we’ve seen him play for Connacht off anything. We have a lot of confidence in his ability. He’s performing well in training this week. He performed well last week.“We have no doubt he will perform well.”Victory for the hosts could see them finish second in the championship and, at the same time, would preserve a place in the top four of the world rankings ahead of the pool draw for the 2019 World Cup in May.“For us, we just have to keep to our tactics, and make sure we’re very very good,” Best added. Ireland come up short but reasons to be positive for home Women’s World CupBrilliant Larmour among the standouts for Ireland U20s in England defeatlast_img read more