We owe you one: Jones’ early warn­ing for Sch­midt

Irish Examiner - Sport - - RUGBY -

Four wins from four in this Novem­ber Test win­dow and head coach Joe Sch­midt can feel sat­is­fied he is build­ing a squad with plenty of strength in depth head­ing into a World Cup year. The vic­tory over the All Blacks was all the sweeter for the ab­sence of in­jured quar­tet Conor Mur­ray, Seán O’brien, Dan Leavy and Rob­bie Hen­shaw while the sec­ond string took their chances in big wins over Italy and the USA. A hat-trick of tries for An­drew Con­way capped a man-of-thematch per­for­mance. Con­way could have had more than three tries and as­sisted both Jack Co­nan’s first-half score and a dis­al­lowed try for Luke Mcgrath af­ter a high-speed break, chip, chase and gather. He was not the only stand­out with Garry Rin­grose, pressed back into action af­ter his All Blacks heroics, putting in an­other ex­cel­lent 80-minute per­for­mance at out­side cen­tre and look­ing a class apart. New Zealand ref­eree Ben O’ke­effe sent Iain Hen­der­son to the bin mid­way through the first half af­ter the Ire­land lock’s bla­tant col­laps­ing of a maul that mer­ited a penalty try for the vis­i­tors. The in­ces­sant re­set­ting of scrums, how­ever, did lit­tle for the sell-out crowd’s en­ter­tain­ment.

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