Robin McBryde: England hiding will help rather than hinder Ireland

Robin McBryde thinks Ireland’s hammering at Twickenham last August will make life easier for Andy Farrell when the team returns to London on Sunday.

Robin McBryde: England hiding will help rather than hinder Ireland

Robin McBryde thinks Ireland’s hammering at Twickenham last August will make life easier for Andy Farrell when the team returns to London on Sunday.

Joe Schmidt’s men suffered a record 57-15 defeat in the World Cup warm up clash, a result that came just six months after they were well beaten in Dublin by the same opposition at the start of the Six Nations. The two defeats stunned Ireland and they never recoverered, being humiliated by Japan and New Zealand at the Rugby World Cup where they once more failed to get beyond the quarter-final stage.

But Leinster coach McBryde — who helped Wales to four Six Nations titles as a coach and one as a player — believes the defeats can be used by Farrell to help Ireland to victory on Sunday.

“It makes it easier, if anything,” he said.

“If you’ve had a hard loss against somebody, then you make sure you are more determined to go out there and give a better account of yourself than you did the last time.

“The motivation is always there when you are playing England anyway.

“You just need to have that belief, belief in yourselves and the systems you’ve got.

“As anybody knows with England, they’ve got strength in depth, size, they’ve got money, they’ve got everything. You’ve just got to go after it, show you’re hungrier than them.”

Ireland have won just three of their last 11 games against England, and the aggregate score of last year’s defeats was a shocking 89-35.

Those results saw calls for a change of style, with many critics arguing that Joe Schmidt’s side had become too predictable — but McBryde is adamant that winning is all that matters.

“In Wales, the same things were thrown at us with regards to being predictable, and just ‘take it up the middle’ etc, unless you’re involved in any environment, you’re always clutching at straws or guessing, speculating as to what a team’s trying to do,” he said.

“As much as we were trying to change things subtly, you have to just ignore all the pressure from outside, because at the end of the day it’s all about results. It’s a winning industry, and if you’re winning it doesn’t matter what anybody thinks, you have to just keep on winning.

“There’s so much at stake, a lot of things can just turn on fine margins during a game, especially in the Six Nations.

“Ireland are two from two, you feel there’s a bit of momentum going for you, and then there’s an extra week break to prepare for England, so that will give you time to make some subtle changes. [Andy’s] had the boys in for two games, now there’s a bit more time to play around with things.”

Should Ireland make it three from three with victory in London, a home win over Italy will surely follow — and then they’d head to Paris for what could be a debut Grand Slam for Farrell.

McBryde knows all about Grand Slams, having won one as a player and three as coach — and he says former head coach Warren Gatland has shown the blueprint in how to get a team across the line.

“In fairness to Warren, he brought that belief with him, that Kiwi mentality,” he said.

“Knowing what to focus on, really, because you can fill your head with all sorts of things that have no relevance to the game at all.

“He could play the media game back and forth with Eddie Jones, or whoever the opposition coach was, but one of Warren’s strengths was you’d come in on Monday morning and you were given ‘this is what we’re doing, bang, bang, bang’. He knew exactly what counted, what we needed to be good at, to get those sort of results.”

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