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Ireland at the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Trimble Takes Positives From Bordeaux Clash

Trimble Takes Positives From Bordeaux Clash

Andrew Trimble says there are plenty of positives to take from Saturday’s Rugby World Cup warm-up match against France, despite Ireland suffering a second successive defeat.

Andrew Trimble, who was one of Ireland’s most impressive performers in Bordeaux, said it was a game they could have won.

“France came out of the blocks fairly quick and we knew they were going to do that,” said the Ulster winger, following the 19-12 loss.

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“Whenever you’re down here, the crowd gets behind them and they’re an absolute handful to be honest.

“So it was hard to get into the game but we gradually got a bit of a foothold and there was one stage when it looked like we were going to be in the ascendancy. But we never quite got there and they bounced back fairly well in the end.

“It’s really tough coming down here with the crowd getting on their backs and there was a bit of a carnival atmosphere. Everybody was having a good time apart from us in the first 20 minutes.

“It’s very difficult to stop the rot and just get back into the game but fair play to us in defence we managed that and we managed to change the tide a little bit. We’ll take a lot of positives from that.”

It was a case of déjà vu for Ireland after their opening defeat against Scotland, as at times they struggled to retain possession against the French.

“It was exactly the same as last week and we got the same sort of feedback after the game,” admitted Trimble.

“If you can’t hold onto the ball then it’s going to be a long night, especially when you’re down here. I think considering how many turnovers we made, we actually did well to hold on to the game as long as we did.

“I think we deserve a lot of credit for that and it’s certainly a positive we’d like to take from the game. But if you can’t hold onto the ball then you’re never going to threaten them as much as you would like.”

Leinster prop Mike Ross was in the heat of the battle at scrum time and he said the Irish players would have to learn from how each referee oversees the set piece.

“Different referees have different interpretations. It’s a bit annoying when the scrum pops straight up,” he said.

“A lot of referees reset that…but I suppose it’s something we’ll have to learn with deal with. We’ll probably be seeing Steve Walsh again, so it’s a good thing to have in the memory bank.”

Ross was suffering from a tight calf late in the game but he believes that Ireland’s fitness programme and warm-up schedule appears to be paying off.

“It’s been tough, having 90-minute fitness sessions. I think it stood to us – especially in the second half. I don’t think we were blowing as hard as the French were at times.

“It’s a pre-season game and this is where you iron out the defects in your set-up. The French are a great test for your first couple of games and you find out very quickly whether you have it right or not.”