Six Nations 2015: Ireland keep faith with Joe Schmidt's game plan

Paul O'Connell and Joe Schmidt
Paul O'Connell says the Ireland squad's faith in coach Joe Schmidt's game plan is unwavering
RBS Six Nations: Scotland v Ireland
Venue: Murrayfield, Edinburgh Date: Saturday, 21 March. Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, Radio Ulster, online, mobile, the BBC Sport app and Connected TV.

Ireland captain Paul O'Connell says the squad's faith in Joe Schmidt's game plan is unwavering despite their lack of tries in this year's Six Nations.

The Irish have scored only four tries in the Championship even though they are in contention to win the title ahead of Saturday's Scotland game.

O'Connell accepts frustrations with Ireland's try-scoring shortcomings, but still defends coach Schmidt.

"For us there's big trust in what we're doing," said the Ireland skipper.

"That's probably the biggest thing I see from a player point of view that's different from other teams I've been involved in - there's massive trust in what we're doing.

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"Even the start of the English game, we were held up over the line twice early on.

"Credit to Wales last week for great defence, but we no doubt created a whole lot of opportunities where we were really close to scoring.

"With that trust we'll keep the faith and hopefully it will come right."

Ireland's clash with Scotland is sandwiched between Wales's trip to Rome to face Italy and England closing the triple-header by hosting France at Twickenham.

The Irish clinched the 2014 title by closing the final day with a tense victory over France in Paris, heading into that clash aware that a win would secure the silverware.

This time around O'Connell and company must beat Scotland and watch on in the hope that England do not beat France and tie up a superior points-difference tally.

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All that assumes Wales do not trash Italy sufficiently to claim the title advantage, though Warren Gatland's men already trail Ireland by 21 points.

O'Connell expects a spectacle for the armchair viewer but is determined to ignore the hype himself.

"It will probably be an exciting day for people watching on the TV, but for us we have to prepare in a way that suits us and gives us the best chance of success," said O'Connell.

"And for me the best way of preparing and to give us the best chance of success is to expect Scotland's best performance of the championship, and just go out and try to beat that.

"If we can start well, address the things we looked to address from last weekend, we'll give ourselves a great chance of doing that."

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