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Kidney Proud Of Players’ Efforts In Paris Stalemate

Kidney Proud Of Players’ Efforts In Paris Stalemate

Ireland head coach Declan Kidney said he was feeling a mixture of both pride and disappointment after watching his side draw 17-17 with France on Sunday.

Ireland led by 11 points at the interval but after the home side drew level, neither side could find a winning score as the rain poured down in Paris.

“I’m disappointed for the lads really,” Declan Kidney said after the game. “They put in a huge effort. As I said to them afterwards I was proud of them. I couldn’t ask for any more from them.

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“I’m proud of the fact that we believed in ourselves just to go out and play our own game. We didn’t try to do something extraordinary and cough up easy scores. If you’re not disappointed when you don’t win, you shouldn’t be in the job.”

He pointed out that there had been plenty of changes to the squad since Ireland won the Grand Slam in 2009.

“There’s seven or eight changes in the side now and we’re having to learn a few things along the way.

“We didn’t panic in the second half, which I was happy with. We did a lot of things well, and the more you do well the more disappointing it is when you don’t close it out.”

Kidney revealed that Conor Murray’s injury did not seem as bad as it looked on the television replays and also said that there was plenty for his team to learn from when they review the match on video.

“Just before half-time when the weather started to break, you knew that France were going to pick and jam around the rucks,” he added.

“The way the laws are now in trying to hold the hindmost foot and staying legal, then depending on how much leeway there is and skill there is in terms of holding onto the ball and stopping the opposition from getting at it, France are obviously very good within the confines of what they are allowed to do.

“That’s an area we’ll have to look at to see how we can force more turnovers.

“In the first half they were inclined to go wide. In the second half they put it up the jumper and with the laws the way they are now that’s an area we’ll take a good look at and see what technique we can use to get the ball back to us.

“There were some other cases where we turned the ball over too and those ones are definitely more within our own control. Between the two of those things there is plenty for us to work on.”

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