Kidney remains upbeat while brushing off questions about his future
Nor, he maintained, would a pragmatic style a la England suit this team which, it has to be said, doesn’t have the same physicality and ballast as England, especially off the bench and all the more so given Ireland’s high-profile casualty list.
“We’ve been expansive to suit our skill set and when you’re expansive it can look as if you’re making a few errors, but we have to go for it. That’s the nature of the side that we have, so we have an attacking mindset that we’re looking to exploit. The trouble is when you’ve an attacking mindset you leave yourself open to a bit more criticism that we’re just not playing that pressure game totally. But it wouldn’t suit us at the moment.”
One recurring theme, however, has been the failure of Ireland to see out 80 minutes, losing the last 20 or 30 by tallies of 19-0, 6-0 and 12-0 to date. Nor is this last quarter a new phenomenon.
“There are things I know that can be done better but I’m not going into those here now,” he said, beyond citing the failure to take opportunities and the lack of discipline, “because most of the points that we’ve given away have been penalties. We just need to trust our defence a bit more and that’s one of the themes that we talked about this morning.
“I think this season we’ve conceded four tries, including November, and three of those were when we had a man in the bin. You have to build that belief into players and if you can believe in that then you don’t give away those penalties. So that can be one of themes of the last 20 minutes.”
The team’s “middle management” is, he believes, learning to give this team the wisdom it has been missing in endgames, while the reduced try-scoring rate is in part due to the standard of opposition.
Asked how he was sleeping, Kidney smiled and said: “Great.” As to whether he was coping with the pressure, he maintained: “I seem to nod off okay. There’s different things in different lives. I take it very seriously. I wouldn’t try to be glib one bit about it. This is not so much a job as a lifestyle but what you have to do, if you don’t sleep you’re not going to make decisions the next day.”
“Sometimes you sleep on your decisions and then you know when you’re sleeping well you wouldn’t be too far off the mark. So thanks for the concern about my health.”