Kidney refuses to panic
August 8, 2011
Ireland were impressive in defence during their 10-6 loss to Scotland on Saturday © Getty Images
Ireland boss Declan Kidney is remaining calm despite seeing his side lose 10-6 to Scotland in their first World Cup warm-up match on Saturday.
Kidney took an experimental XV to Murrayfield, containing only four players expected to start against the USA on September 11. They led a strong Scotland side 6-3 with four minutes to go, only for Joe Ansbro's well-taken try to snatch away their victory hopes. The match was a poor spectacle with Ireland failing to trouble the whitewash, but Kidney is eager to keep the performance in perspective.
"I'm not going to lose any sleep over it. I'm disappointed but I know where we are and what we've done," said the head coach. "When people looked at the two team sheets, they must have thought, 'What's going to happen here?'
"We're within four minutes of winning but we lose it, so the emotion is, `Do we think about the last 10 minutes or the 70 minutes before it?' My job is to keep a level head and that's what I'll do. We've got things to work on.
"Had we conceded five tries I wouldn't be panicking about our defence. Had we scored five tries I wouldn't be overly elated about our attack.
"Now we know where we are because you can do all the training, but it's not until you play a match that you really find out. There are definitely positives to take from that match, I know we got things out of it.
"When we win I say there are things we need to improve on, but because we wear green the result is what people look for."
With France next up, away and home, there is a danger that Ireland may struggle to establish any momentum in their World Cup warm-up campaign. Though the four internationals scheduled are about developing match fitness and finalising selection issues, wins are necessary to build confidence.
Ireland have a poor record against France, beating them just once since 2003, but face them in Bordeaux on Saturday and in Dublin a week later. Kidney will name his team at Thursday lunchtime and hints he will be wheeling out some of his big guns.
"There will be a couple of changes. Each game will be taken on it's merits and we won't be going into any match half-baked," he said.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"Some people have it from day one and Brian did." Tom Hamilton talks to the two players who made their Ireland debuts alongside Brian O'Driscoll back in June 1999
Despite having lost all four of their 2014 Six Nations games, the future of Italian rugby is bright with the team showing a new youthful core, argues Enrico Borra
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column