Joe Schmidt calls for Ireland fans to keep the faith despite results

The Ireland head coach was speaking in the wake of the defeat to England in Twickenham on Saturday

Joe Schmidt, Ireland, England,

Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

There were a number of talking points for Joe Schmidt and Rory Best in the post-match press conference after another defeat in this year's Six Nations

Still without a win, Ireland's coach wasn't looking to make excuses, but did state that there were a number of key moments that were out of their hands that ended up deciding the game. 

Stating that it was a game of fine margins, Schmidt added that it was a difficult defeat to take, especially given that they had taken the lead at the start of the second half.  

He stated that it would be made all the more difficult to "lose a game because a ball slips out of a player's hand, or because there seems to be a dark patch on the TV when you're looking at a TMO decision and it doesn't fall your way". 

That frustration showed once again when Schmidt was asked whether he was disappointed that the TMO didn't give more consideration to an angle that appeared to show that Josh Van der Flier managed to get the ball down over the line. 

Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

"We thought, and I think the players thought at that stage, that it was a try," said Schmidt. "We can't buy a trick at the moment. It's frustrating, it would have put us back in the game with five or six minutes to go and them a man down".

Schmidt also spoke about the incident in which referee Romain Poite chose not to show a card to Mike Brown for kicking Conor Murray in the head. 

"They have people who look at those things, and I have never ever tried to influence that. They made a decision on the field and that's something they'll probably look back at because Conor's obviously got stitches right next to his eye.

Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

"That strategy is fraught with risk, particularly with players in close proximity, but I know that Mike Brown wouldn't have done it on purpose. He's trying to connect with the ball, but as I say, it's something that we don't influence that's for other people to determine, whether he's culpable for being reckless".  

Speaking about the young players that came on and made a big impact on the game, Schmidt's praise was tempered with words of advice about controlling the ball better and working hard to be accurate. 

However, it was clear that the head coach has seen something in both Stuart McCloskey and Josh Van der Flier, as well as Ultan Dillane coming off the bench, to give him hope for the rest of the games in this tournament, and possibly beyond. 

Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

Schmidt appealed to the fans to stay behind the team, saying "we've got guys who are coming but they are working hard there's a little bit of a transition period and we're building past that hopefully. I guess the only thing I'd say is don't lose faith that we won't keep building. Hopefully that will be sufficient to get people enthusiastic about what we do int he next two games".