Ireland coach Joe Schmidt relieved after 'patchy' win over Samoa
New Ireland coach Joe Schmidt said his main emotion was relief after his side's "patchy" 40-9 opening autumn international win over Samoa.
Second-half replacement Dave Kearney scored two of Ireland's five tries at the Aviva Stadium but Schmidt described his team's display as "untidy".
"Our cohesion wasn't as good as it should have been," said Schmidt.
"I just don't think you can afford to give sides as much ball as we did out there today."
Reflecting on a first half when Samoa had far more possession than the Irish, Schmidt said: "I think we made a lot more tackles than they did.
"I thought our scrum started really strongly. Our first line-out drive was top drawer and we managed to get a couple of good tries in the second half.
Ireland's remaining autumn Tests
- 16 November: v Australia, Aviva Stadium
- 24 November: v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium
"But in between times, I felt we were pretty patchy."
However, former Leinster coach Schmidt said that Saturday's contest was a "super exercise" ahead of the tougher tests against Australia and world champions New Zealand over the next fortnight.
The New Zealander was also delighted that his key experienced duo Brian O'Driscoll and Paul O'Connell had got some game time.
"We got some guys out there that I don't know so well and we got some mileage into some guys' legs.
"It was good to see Drico (Brian O'Driscoll) lasting the 70 (minutes). I think he maybe lasted 60 and then hung in for 10.
"It was great to see Paul O'Connell out there and Sean O'Brien out for 50."
Lions star O'Brien was a first-half replacement for Chris Henry and Schmidt revealed the Ulster flanker had sustained a suspected hamstring injury.
Henry's chances of featuring in the Australia and New Zealand contests could now be in doubt.
"He (Henry) started the game really well. He got a turnover in the first ruck but unfortunately I think it may be a hamstring injury."
Schmidt praised the display of another Ulster man, fly-half Paddy Jackson who kicked 15 of Ireland's points.
"Paddy directed us really well around the field and he kicked at goal really well also."
However, Schmidt added that some of Ireland's tactical kicking had been "a little bit wayward" and said that Australia and New Zealand would punish similar mistakes.