Joe Schmidt set the tone for new Ireland coaches with a debut victory as Ireland beat Samoa by in the first of rugby’s November internationals at the Aviva Stadium.
New boy Dave Kearney scored two tries with Peter O’Mahony, Fergus McFadden and Sean O’Brien also crossing the line in the first victory under Schmidt.
Australia are next up for Ireland at the Aviva on Saturday and former Leinster chief Schmidt knows what lies ahead of his team.
He told Irish state broadcaster RTE: “We’ll get a reality check when we look at this game again ahead of the Australia match: too many line-breaks from the Samoans.
“And we can’t afford to do that against Australia. If they get on top they are extremely dangerous. If we open up too many options for them, they will take them.
“We are very, very aware of the threat Australia pose.
“Our kicking out of the hand wasn’t as good as it could have been at times.
“If someone manages to find Israel Folau, or Adam Ashley-Cooper next week, then we will find ourselves in trouble.”
Brian O’Driscoll played for almost an hour on his return from injury while Paul O’Connell made an appearance off the bench.
Schmidt added: “I spoke to Brian after the game and he felt he could have gone the whole 80, but the tank was starting to run dry after 55.
“He was relatively happy to see Ian Madigan heading his way, but he really enjoyed himself. It wasn’t vintage Drico but it’s a step towards it.
“And Paul really enjoyed it, enjoyed stretching his legs. I thought he brought real value off the bench.”
The Ireland coach will monitor the fitness of flanker Chris Henry before naming his side to play Australia after the Ulster star was forced off at half-time with a hamstring strain.
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