Les Kiss happy to rise to the challenge
Irish defence coach says facing three sides ranked above Ireland in the world is ‘a little scary’
This is Les Kiss’ fifth November series as an Irish coach, and while the 2010 campaign featured matches against South Africa and Argentina as well as Samoa and New Zealand, Ireland’s defensive coach admits that the prospect of facing three sides ranked above them in the world is a little frightening.
“It’s an exciting challenge, but it’s a little scary, to tell you the truth.
“When you look at what Samoa offer, the Aussies, who are improving – we know that – with Genia and Copper really hitting some form, and the All Blacks are just sublime at the moment, it is quite scary.”
”The focus right now is coming real sharp into what next week is going to offer us.
“So this week is about cohesion, and it’s also about the guys finding their feet in a different type of environment, and I think they’ve done very well but there’s still some things that we have to get right and make sure that we’re tuned on for next week because there are a lot of discussions around some things that could be distractions; injuries, Johnny, the Conor thing.
“We could be hijacked by that, but we are very committed, as a group, to make sure those things stay where they are, and we get the right things done, because when we hit that first 40 minutes against Samoa it will hurt us if we’re not switched on.”
A different coach staff and a new leader has, Kiss believes, given a new focus on getting the details right, and such is Schmidt’s famed attention to detail that’s hardly surprising.
This morning’s session will be focused on defence, presumably on the broad ambit of line speed, filling gaps and recycling the numbers through phases as a broad base for the challenge ahead, although the nature of Ireland’s three opponents ensures a common theme.
“When you look at the three teams that we are up against, there are similarities in certain parts of their game. Some will have unique things.
“The Samoan team will play a lot more off unstructured ball. Australia and New Zealand will play off more structured ball, but will also play an unstructured game as well.”
“So by virtue of playing those three teams we can make sure we really don’t inundate the players with too much information. We’ve just got to get the right things right, with a good strong base plan and allow them to not over think on the field, and hopefully just get the detail right and react, and be proactive, in their actions out on the pitch.
“But it’s a new environment, which is a challenge, and a new way to look at things.”