Welsh will go for our throats, says Ireland coach Kiss
Ireland defence coach Les Kiss is braced for an all-out attacking approach from Wales tomorrow, claiming: “I cannot see them holding back.”
Wales head into the RBS 6 Nations clash at Croke Park as joint leading tryscorers in this season's championship alongside title favourites France.
Seven touchdowns in three games has showcased their ability with ball in hand.
But seven tries conceded — including three interceptions — represents the tournament's worst defensive record this term, and is a major reason why Wales seem destined for mid-table mediocrity rather than stacking up as serious title contenders.
Given Wales' first-half implosions in contributing towards sizeable interval deficits against England, Scotland and France, a more conservative outlook could underpin their Dublin game-plan.
Kiss though, a former Australian rugby league professional, is having none of it.
“I would be extremely surprised if Wales change their approach,” he said. “I think they will go for it.
“The type of players who are throwing those (interception) passes are guys who base their games on instinct and try to find an edge to take the opposition apart.
“I can't see them holding back. Yes, there is some risk in the style they play, but I think they are committed to that style.
“From their perspective, they probably don't want to go to lineouts. It is something I think they will be very wary of — is a strength of ours.”
Victory for Wales in their final two games against Ireland and Italy could see them challenge for second spot. The Irish though, still have Triple Crown and title aspirations.
Successive home wins at the expense of Wales and Scotland would secure another Triple Crown triumph, although top prize is more of a remote possibility and depends on results elsewhere.
“We are happy with a lot of the things we've done,” added Kiss. “We have got some good strengths in a lot of parts of our game.
“We would like to get a little bit more out of things, and that is probably one of the driving forces. Full credit to the guys with the way they want to try and find another edge.
“We wouldn't dare pre-empt that this is a game (on Saturday) where we will find the magic game and everything works totally, but it's there. If it comes out for five minutes a game, or 40, those things will come.
“I absolutely love the Six Nations. Each week is a unique challenge, but it's an unbelievable challenge — country against country. It is the biggest thing I have been involved in.”
Not for the first time in his glittering career, Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll (pictured) will take centre-stage this weekend.
O'Driscoll becomes the second player to reach a century of caps for Ireland, following prop John Hayes two weeks ago, and Kiss has added his tribute.
“There are things you know about him as a player, but once you know him intimately, then there is a more complete package right across the park,” he said. “I knew his defensive prowess before I came here, but it extends beyond the obvious. His ability to influence a game on and off the ball in defence is unbelievable.”