Published: Sun, March 17, 2019
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Six Nations 2019: Ireland will show up in Japan - Schmidt

Six Nations 2019: Ireland will show up in Japan - Schmidt

He said: "I'd like to take my hat off to Wales and Gats".

As Storm Gareth battered Cardiff, "Storm Gareth Anscombe" was swamping Ireland inside the Principality Stadium with six penalties as Wales beat the defending champion 25-7.

Ireland were washed away as Wales completed a first Six Nations clean sweep for seven years - a tournament record fourth Grand Slam - and landed their first Six Nations title since 2013.

"Knowing that it was my last Six Nations game, you want it to be a fairytale and you want to win and to win in such a place like this would have been massive for the team but would have involved us having a massive performance", said Best.

"We can only perform in the two 40-minute windows to the best of our ability, then the narrative will be whatever pundits and journalists put out there", explained Schmidt at his post-match press conference. The team will definitely grow from this.

No one will fancy playing them in Japan, they look a tough nut to crack and they could potentially end up meeting England at the quarter-final stage.

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"We've won 23 of our last 26 Test matches - we've finished third in the Guinness Six Nations and once upon a time that wasn't the catastrophe that it is today for Ireland".

"I think I will enjoy that (winning three Grand Slams) afterwards, but the game is always about the players, and we stress that".

"I'd like to think the genuine supporter will still be 100 per cent behind us".

Gatland, who steps down after the World Cup later this year, still tried to suggest they could creep in to the World Cup unnoticed but fell short.

"I'm disappointed" Schmidt said when asked about the manner of Ireland's defeat. "It's hard to match but you've got to be able to match it, there will be occasions like that in the future". They were hugely emotionally up for it and I know because we were in the same position previous year going to Twickenham and you get another 5%.

"Our discipline which usually doesn't let us down it allowed them to get the distance ahead of us".

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