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.
“I think we have to be pretty pleased with how we started,” Kearney said.
“We got some good points on the board, scored some tries and got a good hit-out under a closed roof at the Millennium. No injuries. So a lot of positives there.
“There are a few things we can work on — our discipline in the second half, we got turned over a few times, maybe could have put away a few more opportunities but all in all quite pleasing.”
Ireland next face Romania in Pool D at Wembley on Sunday.
“Unbelievable. I was lucky enough to play there once before, but it wasn’t full,” Kearney said.
“There’s so much history and tradition. Even looking at it yesterday, breaking a record with the Argies and New Zealand, it looked like an unbelievable atmosphere and no-one knows how to party at games like the Irish.”
Reporting by Ed Osmond, editing by Pritha Sarkar