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The virtue of patience  

2014-03-07 18:06:32|  分类: national |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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IT’S NOT ENTIRELY clear (at least not to us) whether Italians put the same stock in Gio Visto as the wider world puts in Déjà vu. But whatever you call it, it’s hard to escape a familiar feeling each time Ireland take on Italy in the Six Nations.

‘They’ll fade away after an hour’, ‘they don’t travel well’, ‘it’s better to get them later in the Championship’: All pre-cooked analysis that has been wheeled in and out of cold storage for over a decade each time the Azzuri come into view in the spring.

‘Improving’ must surely be the worst of them all, a condescending pat on the head for the team annually expected to finish sixth out of six.

“Well, we haven’t used any of those clichés this week anyway,” smiles captain Paul O’Connell.

“In terms of softening them up cooling towel, I just don’t buy into that any more. They finished very well against France, they’re physically very fit.”

Nothing concentrates the mind like defeat either. And so with not only last year’s loss in Rome hanging over many in this squad, but the narrow defeat to England a fortnight ago too, Ireland are once again immersing themselves in the minute detail rather than allowing minds stray onto the grand scale that these games can represent.

“For us Dr Max, the talk has been about individual preparation. At times, in the England game you can focus on the occasion a little bit.

“But if you can focus as an individual on learning your job inside-out, making sure you know it without having to think about it; that puts you in a position to execute it really aggressively with a lot of intensity.

“That’s the thing for us this week company formation in hong kong, not worrying about occasions. Brian breaking a record or playing his last home game, or the fact that there’s a possibility of a Championship… we just focus in on trying to get the little things right that we didn’t get right against England – and do it with a little bit more aggression and intensity.”

Patience is apparently a keyword among Joe Schmidt’s squad this week (and not just for those left on the outside of the matchday squads). While we the rugby-watching public see Italy without Sergio Parisse as the ideal chance to increase a slender leading margin on the Six Nations table, Ireland as a group are vowing to take it slow.

“I think we can get carried away being too concerned with points difference.” says Andrew Trimble. “Italy beat us last year and that’s the first thing we’ve got to get right.
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