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Paddy Jackson can tame South Africa again, says Joe Schmidt

By Jonathan Bradley

Published 15/06/2016

Confidence: Paddy Jackson
Confidence: Paddy Jackson

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt is hoping the likes of Paddy Jackson will carry the confidence boost provided by last weekend's historic win over South Africa into Saturday's second Test.

Ireland had never beaten the Springboks on South African soil before the 26-20 win in Newlands - where Jackson filled the boots of Johnny Sexton admirably and was instrumental in the win - and will now try to clinch the series in Ellis Park this weekend.

Schmidt was impressed with how Ulster's Jackson pulled the strings in his first Test appearence since the World Cup clash with Romania.

"Paddy did some super stuff. I thought he controlled the first 20 minutes, he controlled really well. We actually built our confidence through that period," the Kiwi said.

"With some really good territorial play, we managed to earn possession and we managed to turn that possession into points.

"That helped us gain confidence, we had a lot of players who haven't had a lot of time with us and it tends to be that your leaders have the kind of contagious effect that you miss a bit when you don't have them.

"For guys like Paddy, who stepped up, I thought they did a super job."

After expressing disappointment that they had not yet received the written report of the hearing by the time of yesterday's media briefing, Ireland indicated they will not appeal against CJ Stander's one week ban for his red card last week.

Leinster flanker Rhys Ruddock seems likely to replace him this weekend in a straight swap but Schmidt does have the option of moving Ulster's Iain Henderson into the back-row and promoting the experienced Donnacha Ryan into his starting line-up.

No matter who is selected, Jamie Heaslip says Ireland's historic win is all in the past as the squad look ahead to Saturday.

"We're not getting too carried away with ourselves," said the back-rower who got through a mountain of work in Cape Town.

"We've got a lot of work-ons from the weekend and we kind of hit the ground running now in trying to fix a couple of things and focus on this week."

Expecting a backlash from a South African side who have been slammed in their local press, Heaslip sees parallels between the task on Saturday and the back-to-back games so familiar in the Champions Cup.

"We have a lot of experience in European rugby playing back-to-back games and I know it's a club game, which is quite different, but at European level it's up there," he said.

"It's not too far off international rugby and in those Christmas back-to-back games one team can run away with it one week and then the following week it's a completely different side.

"The other team that got beaten out the gate comes flying back and even in tight games where one game might be tight the first week, the next game is blown wide open.

"So when you play these internationals back-to-back with all the analysis that goes in and the knowledge that players have of other players, of what attacking and defensive coaches of both sides are learning from that first game coming into the second game, it poses all sorts of different challenges. But at the essence of it international rugby still boils down to the same thing which is the team that makes the least mistakes is usually the team that comes out with the right outcome.

"I've been involved in 86 games with Ireland and when we've lost it's usually because we're the team that's made the most mistakes. When we've won, it's usually because we've made the least amount of mistakes, be that penalty or turnover or whatever.

"It does add an exciting flavour to it because you learn so much from week one."

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