Ian Madigan was pleased with his and Ireland’s performance against Scotland yesterday, but expects “another big improvement” when they play next – in two weeks time against Wales.
The out-half put in a strong performance in the Aviva Stadium, crowned by a perfect cross field kick to set Leinster teammate Luke Fitzgerald up for a try.
“It’s definitely a part of my game I’ve been working on in pre-season,” Madigan said when congratulated on it in his post-match interview.
“In fairness to Lukey he gave me the shout in and I thought he finished it really well.
“It was great to see him back out there in a green shirt.”
Madigan felt both wingers and Simon Zebo at full-back were deserving of praise.
“I thought the back three were really good today,” he said.
“They were really really strong in the air and that’s another thing we’ve been working on.
“Tommy (Bowe) and Luke and Zebo got really big in the air. It was probably one of the really strong parts of our game.”
He acknowledged that, despite Ireland’s 28-22 win, there was plenty of room for improvement.
“It was disappointing that we knocked the ball on a few times when we were building momentum,” he admitted.
“But in fairness to the wingers and to Zebo I thought they called the ball on themselves a lot which was really positive and gave us great width.”
Madigan believes a lot of the issues in the game were down to early season rustiness.
“I think the first game or two of the season, the trust you have for other guys to throw that extra pass isn’t quite there,” he explained.
“You carry the ball when there could be someone calling for it in a better position.
“That’s just down to confidence and getting your eye in. There’s no doubt that players will really grow from that game today.”
The No. 10 felt Ireland’s play improved as the match went on and expects that development to continue in the next fortnight of training.
“First game of the season guys are a bit nervous, your body isn’t fully battle hardened, but I think as the game went on, guys really grew in that sense.
“I thought our shape was better, guys were holding their width and their depth better and as a result we played a better brand of rugby and made more line breaks.
“Please God, we’ll see another big improvement against Wales in two weeks time.”