Belfast Telegraph

Monday 14 July 2014

Tainton looking for improved display

Mark Tainton wants a vastly improved Irish display at the weekend

Ireland assistant coach Mark Tainton hopes his side will have learnt from the mistakes they made in last weekend's heavy defeat to New Zealand when they take to the field for Saturday's second Test in Christchurch.

The All Blacks were convincing winners at Eden Park with debutant winger Julian Savea scoring a hat-trick in the 42-10 triumph that gave the world champions a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Asked what Ireland learned from the first match, Tainton told www.irishrugby.ie: "I think the harsh lessons are that if you turn the ball over against a team of New Zealand's skill you are going to get punished, and we spoke this week about keeping the ball, going through phases, understanding if we do turn the ball over our transition needs to be a lot quicker from attack to defence."

He went on: "We felt we overcommitted at the opposition breakdown, which allowed them numbers in the wider channels, so that's something we'll re-address and look at in training again and hopefully we won't have to commit so many people to the ball at the breakdown to win the ball or defend the ball."

Ireland's 10-point return at Eden Park came from an early Jonathan Sexton penalty and a converted Fergus McFadden try in the 51st minute when New Zealand were already 30-3 ahead.

Tainton felt his side needed to show more patience in attack, saying: "We were disappointed and frustrated, during the Six Nations we were very efficient in the opposition 22.

"Maybe we pulled the trigger a little bit too early when we were down there instead of going through the phases and being patient and waiting for the right opportunity, and like I said if you turn the ball over you are going to be chasing big men and fast men, and it's going to be very very difficult then."

The former Bristol and England A fly-half added: "They have some of the best players in the world and they are playing at the top of their game at the moment and we can take certain things out of the game, and as long as the players learn and develop and we don't make make the same mistakes again, that's progress, and hopefully this weekend we will have learnt and we'll do better."

The running lines and swift incisions of New Zealand backs Israel Dagg, Conrad Smith and Savea caused Ireland problems throughout, but the 2009 Grand Slam winners did not always help themselves.

Tainton said: "I'm a little bit surprised by the amount of errors we made, because it's something the players have been working on very strongly. There were some spilt passes, some big collisions and some inaccurate kicking which gave them space to attack us in. It's something we definitely need to tighten up on."

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