Six Nations 2012: Ireland must be more physical, says Trimble

Andrew Trimble expects Ireland to face a physical battle against Italy in the Six Nations at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday

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Ireland take on Italy in Dublin on Saturday Photo: M+MD, via Flickr

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Andrew Trimble has admitted Ireland will have to match Italy’s physical might before he gets the chance to add some magic as Declan Kidney’s men go in search of their first win of the Six Nations.

Following their opening 23-21 defeat by Wales, and then the postponed match against France, Ireland remain without a point in this year’s Six Nations and have lost their last three at the Aviva Stadium.

Italy are also yet to get off the mark but after they were comprehensively beaten by France, they ran England all the way, leading 12-6 at half-time before going down 19-15.

And while Ireland are pursuing a 13th straight win over Italy since the Azzurri’s arrival in the competition, last season that run very nearly ended – Ronan O’Gara dropping a last-minute goal to seal a 13-11 victory.

And while Trimble, who will win his 43rd cap in Dublin on Saturday, admits the fear of falling to the Italians is spurring Ireland, he acknowledges his side must battle harder than they did against Wales.

“I think the physicality of the Italians is talked about a lot and I think they have added more aspects to their game but the one thing they will also be 100 per cent on is physicality and intensity,” said Ulster wing Trimble.

“That’s something we’ve prided ourselves on in the past and against Wales I don’t think it was quite up to the standards we set ourselves but if we can get back to that then we should be fine.

“Against Italy I think we’ve got the mental edge at the minute. We seem to keep winning against them and while they’re playing more expansive stuff and that might suit us.

“We really don’t want to be the team that loses to them and that is a massive motivating factor and off the back of the Wales game we want to bounce back, perform and enjoy ourselves.”

With Ireland’s visit to France scheduled for next weekend, Trimble and co are set for four matches in four weeks, heading to Murrayfield six days after finishing off in Paris before rounding things off at Twickenham on St Patrick’s Day.

But while that schedule might not be ideal, Trimble believes it presents the ideal chance to build up momentum.

“Ideally we would have got that win against Wales and we would have a bit more game time by this stage and we haven’t had the chance to put right what happened against Wales on the pitch,” he added.

“We believe though that the frustration is going to make us 100 per cent right to take on the Italians this weekend.

“I don’t think four in four is going to be too bad, if you’re going well you want to keep the momentum and there’s every chance that could be a positive.

“A lot of the boys are used to playing a fairly intense level of rugby week in week out and it would be nice to have the momentum building up every week.”

© Sportsbeat 2012

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