David Wallace gives his reaction to the Italian game.
“It was a very physical game. The Italians are certainly one of the most physical teams in the competition and to be honest we were in no doubt going out there today that this would be a tough game. Everytime we play them it has been the same and we did realise that it was going to be very physical, so no we weren’t too surprised.”
“In some respects it was overly physical, what with the Peter incident (during the game Peter Stringer was headbutted), and they had two sinbins as well. Certainly there was a lack of discipline within the Italian side, but in those situations you just have to keep your head and not react to it. You must remain professional and disciplined.”
” My role in todays game wasn’t particularly to play out wide but I found myself popping up in the centre at times. This wasn’t part of the game plan as such but I just happened to be out there and the way our system works, props and second rows can end up there and we all have to be able to do the same job as the centre or the winger. I think everyone is comfortable with the tackling in any area and it just happened to be a conincidence that I was out there today.”
” Our lineout was much improved today, at times a bit scrappy, but we know ourselves that this is one of the areas that we need to do a lot of work on and get it sorted. Its something we need to get right, as it is holding us up.”
“We are still in with a chance to win this championship, France are ahead but this game against them in Paris is a huge game. We know we have a difficult task ahead of us to, and especially given that France beat England there. It is diffucult to play the French but this game today was excellent preparation for that. The Italians are as tough as you are going to get and in terms of physicality and aggression, they are no better a team to play as they are so strong in that sense.”
” Todays game was a nostalgic game, as it was Peter Clohessy’s last international game in Landsdowne Road. It is the end of an era for Peter and for Irish Rugby. He has given so much to Irish Rugby and he is a self-styled talisman for the team. His influence in the pack is unbelievable, and he gives so much confidence to younger players. You feel a lot more relaxed when you’re in a pack with him and it is only when you are playing against him that you realise what an impact he has on his side. Today was also a great day for John Kelly. I never doubted that John would have any other than a debut like that. He is one of the most underrated players, but not anymore. He has always been outstanding for Munster and he is thoroughly deserving of his selection to the team. He showed what he can do with those two tries. He is a hero today, but we’ll have him back at the Munster session on Tuesday and we’ll bring him back down to earth. Ahh no, it wouldnt be Munster without a good slagging, but he is well used to it. But yeah today was such a great day for him, I’m just delighted for him.”