Six Nations 2014: Ireland coach Joe Schmidt positive despite loss

Paul O'Connell and Brian O'Driscoll
Paul O'Connell and Brian O'Driscoll

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt says his side are "still in a strong position" to win the Six Nations despite missing out on the Triple Crown by losing to England.

Schmidt's side lost 13-10 at Twickenham, despite having led 10-3.

"We did a lot of things right and you can't come closer to getting a result than one score," said Schmidt.

"The Six Nations itself is still the overriding piece of silverware and we will look forward to the Italy game more than we look back at this one."

Ireland stormed into the lead after trailing to Owen Farrell's penalty at half-time, Rob Kearney going over following Jamie Heaslip's pass.

But Danny Care's converted try, after Mike Brown's offload, helped the hosts secure victory.

Ireland lead the table after the third weekend thanks to a superior points difference, but England, France and Wales also have four points.

Schmidt said his side will "try to take a lot of positives" from their performance at Twickenham, highlighting their set-piece play and kicking game.

But he added: "We didn't always clean up the fringes at the ruck while England's line speed was effective and there was some unbelievable fielding from Mike Brown.

Highlights: England 13-10 Ireland

"One line break from Mike was what made the difference in the end and we are massively disappointed not to have defended our 10-3 lead.

"At the end of the game we tried to construct that one opportunity - but while we created a few we couldn't finish them off and England kept their defensive line well."

Captain Paul O'Connell acknowledged the game had, as expected, been "very physical" and agreed his team had failed to convert their opportunities.

"We mauled well when we chose to maul and we had control of the game at the start of the second half, but couldn't retain it," he said.

"We were well on top but we let them off the hook with a few silly errors, both defensively and how we tried to get out of our half.

"We put ourselves under pressure a few times and their belief went up."

Ireland host Italy next on 8 March, with an away match against France concluding the tournament the following weekend.