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Schmidt Aims Dig At England

Schmidt Aims Dig At England

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has criticized the way England bossed the aerial battle in Saturday’s Six Nations loss in Dublin.

Ireland’s hopes of becoming the first back-to-back Grand Slam winners since France in 1998 were dashed at the first hurdle as they went down 32-20 to England at the Aviva Stadium – the first home Six Nations loss of Schmidt’s tenure.

Related: Tuilagi Handed England Start

The defeat was Ireland’s heaviest to the English in Dublin for 15 years and the disappointing defeat has come as a big reality check for the defending champions, who were the pre-tournament favourites.

England were superior in all areas across the pitch but it was the aerial battle that they gained huge success, with the Irish put under huge pressure when faced with the high ball.

Speaking about the aerial department, Schmidt was critical of the tactics used by Eddie Jones’ men, saying: “They did their homework and they denied us access in the aerial game, they saw how it was going to be refereed.

“Even Keith Earls taken out and taken out again and then we have to take him off. We have to win those battles but it’s hard when you get taken out.”

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