Sport

Schmidt says Ireland could go for broke

Joe Schmidt
Joe Schmidt

Joe Schmidt has admitted Ireland could go for broke against Scotland if Wales thrash Italy in Rome on Saturday.

Head coach Schmidt has conceded Ireland cannot afford to dismiss launching an all-out attack at Scotland from the off at Murrayfield.

Ireland will most likely have to better the points difference of both England and Wales to retain their RBS 6 Nations title.

Wales kick-off the 'Super Saturday' finale by taking on Italy in Rome, before Ireland face Scotland, with England hosting France in closing clash of the triple-header.

Schmidt is fairly confident Ireland will not dispense with their no-nonsense game plan in Edinburgh - but did admit that could all change if Wales hammer the Italians.

"There's always that potential; I don't think you can rule anything out, if Wales have a big win," said Schmidt. 

"Whatever happens we'll try to determine what the best thing is for us and the one thing I would do is probably throw a word of caution around trying to chase anything other than getting our noses in front of Scotland.

"They were unlucky against Wales to lose by three points. They were probably unlucky with a try that was disallowed, and they got very close to France in Paris too.

"They were beaten at the death by Italy and they stayed really competitive against England for a long time.

"With the job we've got in front of us it would be difficult to get any further ahead than just play that game.

"Yes we'll be keeping an eye on the game before us, and obviously the game after us, we'll be watching that as well."

England top the championship table on points difference and start the day as slight favourites, given they will know exactly what they need to do against France come kick-off to claim the title.

Schmidt believes Wales command the box seat however, given Italy's propensity to taper off at the back-end of tournaments.

Ireland's 46-7 victory over Italy in Dublin last year proved pivotal to their points-difference title triumph, and Schmidt thinks Wales could produce something similar this weekend.

"I think Wales will fancy their chances," said Schmidt. "Inevitably in the last couple of Six Nations Italy have tended to fade in those last two games.

"I know for us and England last year that became very much apparent as opposed to Wales beating them by eight points in the first game.

"The forecast in Rome is good and that allows Wales to have a good shot. We'll get a little look at what the result is in that game (before facing Scotland).

"It can't affect our preparation, it can't affect what we're planning to do, because I think then that becomes a distraction and last-minute distractions are never good."