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Schmidt can joke after Ireland rout

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt was able to joke about how Rob Kearney's loose pass cost his younger brother Dave a debut hat-trick after a comfortable victory over Samoa.

Leinster wing Dave Kearney came off the bench for a 13-minute two-try salvo in the second half of Ireland's 40-9 win.

New coach Schmidt was delighted for the younger Kearney on his first appearance - almost two years on from being an unused replacement in the 2012 RBS 6 Nations.

But it might have been even better for the 24-year-old had full-back Rob Kearney been able to produce a neater pass.

"I thought he could have given him a better pass, and he could have had another try!" said Schmidt.

"I'm sure they're delighted.

"The first try he had to do extremely well, because he was limited in time and space.

"They spent a little bit of time working towards it in the Six Nations two years ago, so for it to happen now is great."

Dave Kearney had to watch the entirety of Ireland's 23-21 Dublin defeat to Wales in February 2012, with his debut chances slipping away.

After waiting 21 months for that first cap, the younger Kearney announced his international arrival in style.

Elsewhere, Schmidt admitted accomplished centre Gordon D'Arcy was rusty in attack - but said the 33-year-old's ferocious defence still sets him apart.

Schmidt added: "I felt with Gordon it was important that Paddy (Jackson) had experience inside and outside him.

"A couple of times Gordon maybe went to run and decided to pass, and one time he decided to run and maybe he could have just given a nice early pass.

"So he just looked a little bit out of sorts, but at the same time if you have a pretty close look defensively he did some really good work.

"His ability to chop-tackle and put guys on the ground is massively important to us.

"And even his ability to read off players too.

"He got a bad read early in the game, but from then on in he was covering off at least two options and doing it really effectively."

Jamie Heaslip, captain on the night, hailed Ireland's turnover hunters, but admitted they must tighten up for the visit of Australia.

He said: "We've got players all over the field that can win turnovers.

"When we won the collisions we were pretty effective, and relatively happy about it.

"You can't give Australia easy ball, because they've got such attacking prowess across the back-three.

"In defence we've got to get our body-shape a bit better in that contact zone, to get a really good shot.

"We were a bit slow getting out of the breakdown as the game went on.

"But as a whole it's quite positive and we took a step in the right direction.

"Dev (Devin Toner) was great, he called the line-out for the whole game, even when Paul came on.

"I thought he had a good head on him around what we wanted to do in the line-out.

"He's a big man but he gets around well and I thought he had a great game."


From Belfast Telegraph