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Coach needs time to tackle Ireland's woes

WITHOUT wishing to trip up over the baggage left in the wake of Australia's visit – and with the All Blacks about to swoop – one thing is certain: a coach of the standing of Joe Schmidt deserves better from his players.

Alas, what being at the Aviva Stadium last Saturday brought home to me was that Schmidt is going to need time. It is going to take a while for him to change the mentality of inertia which had become embedded.

This is a team which lost 60-0 to New Zealand in Hamilton in 2012 and then proceeded to win only one match in the 2013 Six Nations.

As to this weekend, an ember of hope may lie in the possibility that the All Blacks may be tired after their exertions against French and English teams.

The question is: will Ireland have the wherewithal to take advantage of this rare opportunity?

JOHN REID

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