Brisbane (Australia) (AFP) – Coach Joe Schmidt says he does not expect to change much for the second Test against the Wallabies after Ireland’s unbeaten 12-match run ended in Brisbane.
Australia scored two tries to nil in downing the Six Nations champions 18-9 on Saturday, with two Tests to play in Melbourne and Sydney.
The world’s No.2 ranked team had their chances and led 9-8 with 14 minutes left before star flanker David Pocock crashed over for the Wallabies’ clinching try in the 72nd minute.
Schmidt left Leinster kingpins Johnny Sexton, Cian Healy, Sean Cronin and Tadhg Furlong among others on the reserves bench in the series opener, bringing them on in the second half as the Wallabies remained unbeaten at home to Ireland in 11 Tests stretching back to 1979.
The Wallabies will be vying to wrap up the series in the second Test in Melbourne on Saturday, but Schmidt said the team’s plans would stay in place.
“We’ll just have to dust ourselves off. It’s nothing that we didn’t expect. They’re an unbelievably athletic and talented team,” he told reporters after Saturday’s match.
“That’s the level and we’ve got to be able to compete at that level and get the margins to fall our way, with 14 minutes left we led 9-8 but you’ve got to lead after 80 minutes.”
Schmidt, with an eye on next year’s World Cup in Japan, said Ireland would persist with their plans for the remaining two Tests of the series.
“I don’t think we can afford to change some of the plans that we’ve got because we now have 11 Test matches before the lead in to the World Cup,” he said.
“We’ve had a pretty good run since the last World Cup. We’ve capped 33 players, so we’ve probably capped the guys that we’re interested in.
“But we now need to give them opportunity because we can’t be caught with guys who don’t have that experience and haven’t been in that white-hot atmosphere that playing a big team with that time and space taken away and how physical it was.”
Skipper and blindside flanker Peter O’Mahony said the advantage of playing in a three-Test series was that a beaten side received another chance.
“That first-half was one of the quickest I’ve played in my career,” he said. “Every time I come up against Australia the intensity and physicality is second to none.
“There are a lot of things to work on, but it’s not all thrown out the window.
“We stick to our process, our plan. We’re hugely disappointed, but that’s the beauty of the three-match tour, that you get back on the horse.
“Whoever is selected and get another shot we get a chance to put it right.”
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said he was anticipating a determined Ireland to bounce back in Melbourne.
“The Irish system is pretty good, their players are well managed and they came out here really well drilled. That was a tight match,” Cheika said.
“We know that it’s going to get harder. They’re getting over arrival, jet lag, they mixed a few of their players, they didn’t start Johnny Sexton and others.
“They’re going to change their look next week and we need to change our look as well because we will all have seen each other.
“I don’t think they’ll need anything else around that, they’re very capable of lifting it a level next week.”