Winning matters more than style, says Ireland's Kearney

Mon Sep 21, 2015 2:29pm EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - Ireland are not concerned by critics who say they do not score enough tries after starting their Rugby World Cup campaign with a 50-7 win over Canada, fullback Rob Kearney said on Monday.

The Six Nations champions have usually adopted a pragmatic approach under coach Joe Schmidt based on a powerful forward pack and the kicking skills of halfbacks Conor Murray and Jonny Sexton.

"One of the criticisms of us in the Six Nations was that we weren’t scoring enough tries," Kearney told reporters.

"Some of the chat this week was if we can try and approach this game with a similar sort of mind set in attack then we would get a few more tries."

Kearney said that winning games was the most important thing.

"Listen, backs will tell you we’re in it for the tries and we like to play running rugby so when you get that you’re happy," he said.

"Ideally you want to be scoring tries but it’s more important to win the games," Kearney added.

"I think you’ll find as the tournament goes on and teams get more evenly matched, you’re going to see a lot more kicking ball and aerial contesting."

Ireland were satisfied with their performance against Canada in Cardiff on Saturday after losing warm-up games to Wales and England.   Continued...

Rugby Union - Ireland v Canada - IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool D - Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales - 19/9/15
Ireland's Rob Kearney in action with Canada's DTH van der Merwe
Action Images via Reuters / Andrew Boyers