Paul O’Connell happy with tour success if not performances

Ireland captain already looking forward to having a full pre-season

Ireland captain Paul O’Connell claims a lineout during the second Test against Argentina at Estadio José Fierro in Tucumán. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ireland captain Paul O’Connell claims a lineout during the second Test against Argentina at Estadio José Fierro in Tucumán. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Sun, Jun 15, 2014, 18:44

Ireland captain Paul O’Connell was happy to come out on top in both Tests against Argentina, even if neither of the performances were particularly pleasing to him.

Ireland had never won a Test in Argentina prior to last weekend’s 29-17 triumph, but while they sealed another 23-17 success in Tucumán on Saturday night, O’Connell felt a sense of disappointment about the performances.

“Since last November we’ve been marginally improving all the time and when we have taken a step back we have learned from it very quickly and pressed-on so, to have two weeks and not performed and not been as accurate as we would have liked to have been, is disappointing,” he said.

“I suppose we didn’t get a lot of time together, but I think for a lot of the guys for whom it’s their first experience of working under Joe (Schmidt), hopefully this will be of big benefit to them.

“You do get asked to do a lot of things very, very different to what you do back in your home province certainly for the Munster, the Ulster, the Connacht guys. So, it’s a big learning curve.”

O’Connell believes the key now is to regroup next season and push on, with O’Connell himself looking forward to getting back into action for the new season after a break.

“Hopefully now I will get a very good, strong pre-season in now, build on what we’ve done this year under Joe with Ireland and get another pre-season into the World Cup and hopefully go there and achieve something special,” he added.

“I haven’t had a pre-season since the World Cup so that’s when you really make the big gains, so from now on in it’s all about getting ready for that.”

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