On Saturday, we came to do a job and we did our job. We spent an awful lot of time analysing Romania but you can't analyse a force ten gale down the middle of the pitch which made it very difficult. But we've seen what Romania can do. They're unbelievably physical. They're very capable of putting teams under pressure. I'd like it if we had kept their two tries out, that's disappointing. But we did score five good tries.
In those conditions you end up taking ball into contact not exactly on your own terms which may have led to some of our turnovers. We turned over too much ball. That was the most disappointing aspect.
As for his own try ? It was a case of, how to fall in ten easy steps ! I nearly broke my leg the way I fell over. There was pretty big gap there for me. We took our points which was a good thing and we repelled a very significant offensive from Romania in the last five minutes of the first half. So we went in tired and knowing that we had a lot of hard work ahead.
Yet we started the second half badly. The first ten minutes were poor but it was interesting, after ten minutes we said well let's forget about that and go on and we just went straight up the field and scored.
Yes we need to be more consistent. It's hard. We are a little rusty. Now people might say, well how can you be rusty ? You've prepared for this for a long time. But there's no real substitute for matches. The way things are set up, there is going to be rustiness in the first few games. That's only natural. We've to make sure we come out of those games with as many points as we can. We did that on Saturday. Yes, a satisfactory start.
Two-try scorer Denis Hickie, like his team captain, wasn't getting carried away.
.I thought Romania were a good side, they were very well prepared. A lot their guys play in France and they've been in camp a long time. Just shows you how hard this group is, and overall we have to happy.
We set out to win the match, to score four tries and we did that. Conditions were really awful. When we woke up on the morning of the match the wind was much stronger than previous days. The way the stadium is, it's literally right on the water, one end is open to give people a lovely view out onto the sea, but it doesn't do much about the wind that blows in off it. So it was very very difficult in both halves and especially in the second half it was very difficult to get out of our own half.
The conditions coupled with the fact that it was our first game, probably a bit nervous, made for a bit of an edgy game. But irrespective of conditions certain aspects must remain the same. Our scrambled defence by in large was pretty good. We showed patience when we worked our way into their half. There were a lot of guys there who hadn't played rugby in months so it was a good start from their regard as well.
And an assessment of his own game. Good start by Hickie ?
Could do better. Not bad, but could be better. That pretty well sums it up for me, maybe for the whole team. And we will do better because we have to do better if we're to get out of this group. In tournaments like this personal try counts are very much secondary. It was important we got four tries. That was the only number of tries that was important. It was the number that counted, not who scored them.