Neil Francis: Ruthless Schmidt out in front as best coach in the world

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Unrelenting quest for perfection puts Ireland boss in league of his own – with Michael Cheika second

When Joe Schmidt took over as coach of the national side, Ireland were in ninth position in the IRB world rankings. A precarious position – Ireland were out of the top eight seeded teams.

Ireland would have gone up to third if JP Pietersen hadn’t scored in the last minute of Saturday’s game – somebody might pay for that indiscretion yet.

Winning matches validates Schmidt’s coaching credentials and orchestrating a good, old-fashioned mugging would certainly be pleasing to all of the back-room staff, but the fact that the late try by the Springboks came as it did. . . it was made known to all that it displeased the head coach. He doesn’t say these things for show……….. see more at :-

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