Interviewer: Well, Mike, you must be pretty happy with that – top of the table with 10 points after two matches?
“Yes, very pleased – it was a greasy old day, the rain was coming down, so it wasn’t the most open of rugby matches, but it was very well refereed. Our scrum got on top and we started to dominate the forward exchanges.
“With that we got a lot of retention and field position and then eventually we forced the penalty try, which put a little bit of distance between us and a real nuggety Terenure team who’re always very difficult to play against.
“After that, it was a matter of more of the same until we managed to wear them down and then got a couple of gaps towards the end. That was probably the story of the game. It was impacted by the rain coming down.”
Interviewer: Greasy ball – “Yea, greasy ball, but I think it was a good, professional performance.”
Interviewer: If the scrums were excellent, the line outs maybe less so?
“Yes, absolutely – you’re right. We lost our way a little bit there. Some good first half play, but I thought we lost our way somewhat in the second half. But again, it’s only early days, the second game in, so I think the boys will go away and be keen to break it out and keep working on the finer points.
Certainly, being on the bigger pitch ensured that the overall approach mentally and physically was good. So yes, definitely, I’m pleased with that.”
Interviewer: You were fairly outspoken in your comments in the Examiner newspaper during the week regarding uncontested scrums. Today went the full course, so to speak?
“Yes, and in fairness to Terenure, they were under pressure there but at no time did they wave the white flag – they said they’d dig in. I think that having more subs available would be beneficial for Irish rugby as it will mean that more and more props will get experience – good and bad – and that will only make them better players.”
Interviewer: Friday, a big one against Belvedere after only a short turn-around?
“Yes, a big one against Old Belvedere on Friday night. Belvo again, another tough side” -
Interviewer: They lost today?
“Well, I understand there wasn’t much in it. Like every coach, you’ll point to one or two fine decisions or fine margins but, at the same time, they went down to Young Munster and won. As a coach, that’s something I’ve never done; I’ve won a couple of Welsh Championships and a couple of Irish ones, but I’ll need to find the team to do that!
“Belvedere are going to be difficult, no doubt about that. Apart from the fact that they lost today, it will probably make them more dangerous, so again, another big battle at the breakdown is in store and, with a six-day turn-around, the freshest side on the day, I think, will be the winning team.”
Interviewer: Many thanks or your time, Mike, and well done today.