Schmidt: There is no second guessing Gatland

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has insisted that there will be no second-guessing his Wales counterpart Warren Gatland when the two New Zealanders and their teams meet in Saturday’s crunch Six Nations match.

Kiwi Schmidt’s Irish side, for whom lock Paul O’Connell will win his 100th cap, are chasing a Grand Slam, while Wales have bounced back from an opening weekend defeat by England with victories over Scotland and France.

But Schmidt would not be distracted by the tactics of erstwhile Ireland and Wasps coach Gatland.

“I’m not sure what he’s thinking,” Schmidt said of Gatland.

“It’s almost double jeopardy to start to think about what he might think we might think we’re going to do, and then think that we might think about doing something else.

“And I’m not that smart – I got lost at the first ‘think’.”

Schmidt, whose side are on the brink of their best run of form in international rugby after beating England two weeks ago to claim a 10th successive win, matching their feat set between 2002-3, added: “We’ll just try to work away, vary our game, and play as much as we can to our strengths.

“Probably people have reported on some of those, and whether they are known or not, if you play to them well enough, even taking into account that they do do a really good job in behind the line, you hope that as much of that as possible comes off.”

Turning to Wales, Schmidt said they were “capable of playing in a number of different ways”.

“Dan Biggar’s kicking game, and his kick-chase game – individually, he can do both incredibly well.

“He got a couple of great kick-chases against France for example.

“So they’ve got a great kicking game themselves, with Leigh Halfpenny, and Liam Williams, another full-back playing on the wing.

“They can play that way, but they can also play through the pack as well.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.