fox polo shirts Ireland coach Joe Schmidt praises Paddy Jackson’s pivotal Test role
Ireland fly half Paddy Jackson was given big shoes to fill in last weekend’s first Test against South Africa but emerged from a searching examination with flying colours and is now key to their hopes of clinching the three match series.
Jackson excelled in place of an injured Jonathan Sexton in the pivot’s role to steer Ireland to a remarkable 26 20 win at Newlands, the team’s first success against the Springboks in South Africa.
“Paddy did some super stuff. I thought he controlled the first 20 minutes, I thought he controlled really well. We actually built our confidence through that period,” coach Joe Schmidt said.
“With some really good territorial play, we managed to earn possession and we managed to turn that possession into points,” he added of his side, reduced to 14 men for an hour following the dismissal of flanker CJ Stander for dangerous play.
“That certainly helped us gain confidence,
we had a lot of players who haven’t had a lot of time with us and it tends to be that your leaders, they tend to have the kind of contagious effect that you miss a bit when you don’t have them.
“For guys like Paddy, who stepped up, I thought they did a super job.”
Schmidt hailed the overall contribution of Jackson to the first Test victory
The Ulster fly half, with 14 caps to his name, has been a regular understudy to Sexton, who misses the tour with a shoulder injury.
The absence of Ireland’s regular No 10 left most observers predicting a tough time for the tourists but it was Ireland who defied logic to win the opener despite being a man down for most of the match.