Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan talked to the assembled media today in Paris ahead of tomorrow’s crucial World Cup Pool D clash with Argentina. See below for what he had to say.
ON SIMON BEST’S CONDITION:
“Simon has been diagnosed as having an irregular heartbeat, the cause of which we don’t know and may never know. He’s had another scan on his heart and has been given the all clear. As soon as they’re happy for him to travel back home he will be released. But that probably won’t happen until to Tuesday.
“These things always do have a galvanising effect. What happened last week (against France) had a galvanising effect and granted we didn’t produce the performance we felt the tightness of the squad deserved. But we’re a very close squad. Simon’s been with us for a while and has been an important part of our 22 for the last four or five Six Nations (tournaments). For him not to be there feels like someone is missing.”
ON ANDREW TRIMBLE’S FINGER INJURY:
“Andrew has been withdrawn from the bench for tomorrow. He had a fractured finger against Namibia and lost the nail. It’s been treated all along but has picked up an infection in the last 24 hours and hasn’t cleared up.”
ON THE SELECTED ARGENTINIAN TEAM:
“It’s a very strong Argentina team, a very experienced side and was pretty much along the lines we expected it to be. There’s a lot of experience on the bench, so it’s very strong in every respect. They have the experience to get the result they want.”
ON AN ALL-OUT ATTACK ATTITUDE:
“You can’t adopt the mantra of attacking from the outset. You must go out and focus on a big performance. If we produce the big performance then we can achieve the goal of scoring the four tries. You can’t go out and be reckless in a Test game and expect things to work out well. You have to be measured in what you do.
“There may be some point in the game when we may have to start throwing caution to the wind and maybe taking more risks. You have to go out with the headset of getting the performance right and if you that, what you want will follow on.
“What you must do first is win the game. That’s paramount and on the back of that get the tries we need. If we score four tries but lose the match then it doesn’t really matter. Whether we go for the penalty depends on where we are at that point in the game. You have to make smart decisions at the right time.”
ON THE PUMAS’ PICK AND GO STYLE:
“We have obviously addressed that. It’s part of our game-plan but they are very good at it. I suppose the key is that the first collision is the most important collision in terms of disrupting their momentum and their rhythm. There will be times in the game where they’ll have possession and they’ll hold on to it. They’re very good at that.
“We’re playing a side here that’s ranked up in the world with France and ourselves so we’re under no illusions that they’re good at what they do and they’re well capable of holding on to the ball. And when it’s happening we’ve got to be sensible. We’ve to keep our discipline and not give away silly penalties.
“It’s about getting a balance to what you’re doing. There will be times in the game where we won’t have the ball and we’ll want to have it. We’ve got to be sensible and wait to get it back. That’s just the way the game is going to be. We won’t have the ball for 80 minutes.
“But hopefully we’ll have it at least half the time and we can get about our business of scoring. When we don’t have it, we’ve got to get about the business of getting it back without giving up scores. So, there’s nothing new there really.”
ON ARGENTINA’S NUMBER 10 JUAN MARTIN HERNANDEZ:
“He’s had a huge influence on the success of in the World Cup as a fly-half. I know he’s always aspired to playing there even though he’s played a lot of football at full-back. But he’s an excellent footballer, a player that can make the transition from 10 to 15 without any hiccups, as we saw.
“He runs the game well, he’s a threat on the gain-line, he distributes well and he’s got a huge boot so he pretty much ticks all the boxes for a fly-half. So I think the move he’s made to fly-half has made Argentina a stronger team.”