Catt believes Ireland have the experience to deal with English blitz defence

Catt believes Ireland have the experience to deal with English blitz defence

Ireland's Mike Catt has claimed that the team will know how to deal with Felix Jones' blitz defence when Ireland play England at Twickenham on Saturday, March 9.

England are two from three in this championship, but both wins against Italy and Wales and a loss to Scotland have been unconvincing performances so far.

They will now play the pound-for-pound best team in the northern hemisphere in Ireland on Saturday and will have to up their levels considerably if they stop Ireland from achieving back-to-back Grand Slams for the first time ever.

Felix Jones, who worked under Leinster and former South African coach Jacques Nienaber, will look to stop Ireland by implementing and improving the blitz defence technique.

The idea behind this technique is to prevent the attacking team from gaining any ground by tackling them behind the gain line and forcing interceptions and charged-down kicks.

Catt believes that Ireland's players will embrace the challenge of the defence system when the sides meet in southwest London.

Assistant coach Mike Catt (Photo By Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

"It's very much helter-skelter and it’s line-speed, and it puts you under pressure, and I think that’s always what we’ve thrived on as a team, especially over the last year and a half," Ireland attack coach Mike Catt said.

"Being able to embrace that pressure and having the skillset to be able to try and break it down—that’s the challenge we have, and I think the boys love that challenge when something like that gets put in front of us.

"It’s not an easy challenge. It’s one that we have to think really hard about, and in the moment, you’ve got to be calm enough to execute stuff."

Last weekend, England played Scotland at Murrayfield and started off well but lost their way, leading to 25 handling errors in the 31-21 defeat. Catt does not believe that England will produce a display like that again in the mammoth clash. He expects them to improve.

"They are not going to make as many errors as they did against Scotland; believe me, they are not going to let that happen again," he added.

"They are going to be a much better side than they were against Scotland, and we've got to prepare ourselves for it.

"They've got a lot to work on in terms of their defence and their attack. It's not just one thing that they need to do, so they’ll get there, and it’s four or five weeks into the competition now, and they’ll get better and better each week.

"We expect them to be a lot better than they were against Scotland."