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O’Mahony To The Fore As Ireland March On

O’Mahony To The Fore As Ireland March On

After back-to-back wins in the RBS 6 Nations, Peter O’Mahony insists the focus will quickly turn to Twickenham and the Triple Crown clash with England.

The RBS man-of-the-match in Ireland’s 26-3 victory over Wales, Peter O’Mahony says that while Joe Schmidt has brought a more intensive attention to detail, he believes the players have now taken up the mantle in the search of success.

“We always had good attention to detail. Joe has got a huge attention to detail, but it has gotten to a stage where it’s player-driven,” said the tireless flanker.

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“He gives us what we need and we drive it by Wednesday (of match week) and we take it by the reins.

“That is where it has to be if we want to be challenging for Championships come the end of the competition. It has to be driven by the players.”

Ireland have conceded just nine points so far in this year’s Six Nations while their lineout, which stole ball at crucial times, and maul have evidently improved with the arrival of John Plumtree as forwards coach.

Off the platform of a reliable lineout, Ireland’s muscular maul did serious damage to the Welsh defence – it was a factor in the two tries for Ulster’s Chris Henry and Paddy Jackson.

O’Mahony believes that in a similar way to Schmidt’s attention to detail, Plumtree’s structures which he has laid down have been taken on and driven on by the players.

“He (Plumtree) has put a big emphasis on our maul and our lineout. He wants us to be a great mauling and lineout team.

“You’ve guys there like Paulie (O’Connell), Dev (Toner), Besty (Rory Best), Sean Cronin and Dan Tuohy – these guys do an awesome amount of time on laptops and a savage amount of work. Credit has to go to all of them. John has put in great structures but it’s player-driven at the moment.”

Ireland started brightly and well-timed tackles by Andrew Trimble and O’Connell certainly put it up to the defending Six Nations champions early on.

For O’Mahony, it is simply what you expect from the Ireland captain. “You all know the way Paulie gets stuck in and he’ll lead from the front always. He was looking to put a statement in and it was a good one.”

Despite restricting Warren Gatland’s side to the lowest points scored by a Welsh side in 85 years, there is no sense of O’Mahony and his team-mates resting on their laurels. There are bigger tasks to come, starting with that trip to Twickenham on Saturday, February 22.

“It was a great team performance today but we won’t be getting carried away. We’ll give plaudits for the boys but we have a lot of work to do especially going to Twickenham for a seriously physical game.

“We will enjoy tonight, put our feet up but we have a lot of work to do over the next few weeks.

“(Ireland-England) is always a huge game. It is always savagely physical, it is always a game you love playing in in an Irish jersey. We will recover, that is our priority and then focus on England.”

The Munster captain added: “I haven’t looked at England yet, but there is a lot depending (on various factors). The weather justified a lot of what we did (against Wales).

“We knew the maul was going to be important in a tight game. We could see that coming earlier in the week with the weather forecast so that played a big factor. We’re going to recover now and worry about England on Monday.”

Ireland were first to to a number of 50-50 balls, they were tenacious in the lineout and the tackle area and their intensity in defence kept Wales contained for the most part. That is the way O’Mahony believes this Irish team can push on, putting in the tackles that count.

“A lot of that has to go down to the fight and the want that we showed. At the end of the day we wanted it more than they did. That was evident by the end of it,” insisted the 24-year-old, who only made his Ireland debut two years ago against Italy.

“I don’t think it (the scoreline) flattered us, but we fought for everything. That is where we need to be at. We need to be fighting for every 50-50 ball, everything that goes on the ground. They are the ones that count.

“Something we have worked hard on is our discipline and we were one of the lowest (offenders) in the November Series and we have a pattern going again.

“I don’t think we have been over double figures (in terms of penalties conceded) over the last five games. It is something we are trying to show, a positive picture, that we want to play rugby.”

O’Mahony also acknowledged the efforts of Ireland’s back-three of Trimble and brothers Rob and Dave Kearney, who outplayed their highly-rated Welsh counterparts.

“We knew it was going to be seriously attritional and physical and that is the way it ended up. We knew our maul was going to be extremely important. Set piece was going to be big and the fighting for all those scrappy balls on the ground.

“The back-three were fighting in the air and challenging, and then guys cleaning up under them. They were awesome to be fair.”