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Schmidt calls for 80 minutes of dominant force to shock Wales

 

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt

By Ruaidhri O'Connor

Joe Schmidt has challenged his Ireland team to replicate the levels of intensity they produced against France for 80 minutes in Cardiff on Saturday.

The coach believes that anything less will not be good enough to stop Warren Gatland's side winning the Grand Slam and to keep Ireland's slim hopes of a successful title defence alive.

Ahead of his final Six Nations game in charge, the head coach wants sustained control after a dominant effort against France at Lansdowne Road last weekend.

"I don't think 50 minutes will win in Cardiff, full stop," he said.

"I think you've got to put 80 minutes together in Cardiff and I think that's a really good point. We have to extend that high performance period right through the game.

"Wales make things challenging. They rack up a penalty count when they are down there, at the same time. If we can keep that sort of pressure on, like Scotland did, and we're not chasing the game at the time, like Scotland were, then you put yourself in a more positive position to get the result."

Ireland will provide a squad update today ahead of the final game of this year's Championship.

The six-day turnaround means a curtailed training week, but the coach will hope to have Josh van der Flier and Rob Kearney on the pitch this afternoon as they begin their preparations.

Belfast Telegraph

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