The result was the same and much of the performance drew parallels to the other recent defeats to England.

But what can Ireland learn from Saturday's Autumn Nations Cup loss against Eddie Jones' side as the attempts to evolve the game plan continue in this early phase of the post-Schmidt era?


Billy Burns to make first Ireland start against Georgia


For Donal Lenihan, it comes down to Andy Farrell's side being caught between going from being scripted in their play to giving players more freedom in make attacking choices on the pitch. 

"It appears to me as if they're trying to flip from one extreme to the other,"  said the former Ireland captain on this week's RTÉ Rugby Podcast alongside Bernard Jackman, Wes Liddy and Hugh Cahill.

"A lot of players thrive on having everything laid out in front of them. Certain players expect to do A, B, C  and D and they're quite happy to adhere to that system.

"It would appear as if Ireland at the moment are moving away from that, which I think is admirable because when you look at the best sides in the world, there's a bit of innovation there and instinctive reaction to what's happening in front of you.

"But none of that matters if you don't have the fundamentals of your game right."

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Some of the fundamentals that failed the Irish team at the weekend were the set piece, particularly regular line-out malfunctions.

But Lenihan feels aspects of play in the loose also highlighted issues.

"If you're constantly on the back foot, if you've constantly got the opposition in your face, then you're going to be forced into error," he said.

"You look at something like Ireland's kicking game and England's kicking game. Ireland kicked to relieve pressure, England kick to apply pressure."

Lenihan continued: "Unless you get the basics of your game right and give yourself a platform from which to play, it doesn't matter whether your game plan is scripted or whether there is scope for people to react to what's happening and I think we're falling between two stools at the moment."

He also pointed out that Jones initially worked on perfecting the basics of England's game before developing other aspects of the team's approach.

"They've now achieved that and have moved on to a different level," said Lenihan.

"But I think we have to take a step backwards and address the basics of our game."

Follow Ireland v Georgia this Sunday via our live blog on RTÉ.ie/sport and the RTÉ News app, watch live on RTÉ One from 1.40pm, or listen to live commentary on RTÉ Radio 1's Sunday Sport.

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