Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global

Latest Feature

'Owen Farrell is another prophet railroaded out of his own land - who can replace him?'

Will George Ford or Marcus Smith fill the void left by the England totem?

What went wrong with Ireland's malfunctioning lineout

By Ian Cameron
James Ryan takes the ball at an Irish lineout - PA

Ireland’s coaching staff have attempted to explain what went wrong with their malfunctioning lineout during last night’s tense win over the Springboks at the Stade de France.


Ireland propelled themselves to the cusp of the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals with a gripping 13-8 win over reigning champions South Africa on a raucous evening in Paris.

Ireland impressively defused the so-called ‘Bomb Squad’ to bring the knock-out rounds within touching distance.

Video Spacer

Video Spacer

However, plenty went wrong for Andy Farrell’s men, not least the lineout, with Ireland losing three lineouts in a row on their own throw in the opening exchanges.

“You’re playing against one of the best defensive lineouts in the world, so there is always pressure,” said assistant coach Simon Easterby. “It is an opportunity for them to recover the ball. There are things you can do in your own game to try to prevent that happening, but also you can’t really dictate what the opposition do. They have a very strong defensive lineout. There are things we can fix and get better at, and we fixed a few of those issues as the game went on, in the second half in particular.

“Certainly that defensive lineout right at the end was a massive point in the game, when there was five points in it. They kicked to the corner and had a couple of chances to have a crack at it, but the lads defended incredibly well. You’re always going to have those moments of ebb and flow, and you need to make sure you ride with those moments and try to come out the other side better for it.”


Top cat Farrell also suggested that the Springboks’ brilliant lineout was the cause of the issues, as opposed to any internal issues.


“That’s the quality of the opposition. Staying at it was absolutely the key. Our discipline in the second half in the lineout was good. We rolled with the punches and came out on the right side.

“It’s wonderful to win, but there’s not much in it between the two sides. We know what that feels like further down the line, to learn those lessons with a win. When you love defending as much as we did in that game, that stands us in good stead.”

Flyhalf Johnny Sexton said he had nothing to do with fixing the lineout issues, which got better as the game wore on.

“I didn’t do anything,” said Sexton. “I let the guys look after themselves. We were bold to go for the corner with the first penalty. The Springboks have an outstanding defensive lineout and put us under pressure, but we’ll make sure we get it right.


“Now it’s all about Scotland – an excellent team. They’ll be frustrated with how they played against South Africa, but we struggled to get our game going against South Africa too.”

additional reporting PA



Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
FEATURE Will 'risk-taker' Gatland gamble on 'adventurer' Lloyd? Will 'risk-taker' Gatland gamble on 'adventurer' Lloyd?