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Dublin: 2°C Thursday 26 November 2020

Chris Farrell: 'We have to be way more accurate in everything we do'

Ireland centre sees positives in Ireland’s display – but admits they have a gap to close on England.

Chris Farrell battles with Maro Itoje.
Chris Farrell battles with Maro Itoje.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO
IT IS A bridge they believe they can build. Four defeats and counting against England – on top of the defeats to France in this year’s Six Nations and Japan and New Zealand at last year’s World Cup – has resulted in Ireland sliding down the world rankings.
Yet they are not despondent. 
“If there’s anything to take from it, it’s that we didn’t shy away from the fight yesterday,” said Chris Farrell.

caelan-doris-dejected-after-the-game Caelan Doris' reaction sums up Ireland's mood after yesterday's loss. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

“In the past couple of games against England, over here, we’ve probably shied away, on reflection, in those games. But we won the second-half, here. We didn’t perform well enough in the first 20 minutes and gave them 14 easy points, and ourselves an awful uphill battle.
“We are disappointed in that but I also think there are positives to take from the character of the team and character of some individuals. We stuck at it.”
Had Farrell finished off a second-half chance, it might have led to a different theme in our post-match discussion. But he failed to ground the ball in the end-goal area. “You have to finish those,” he admitted.

englands-henry-slade-and-irelands-chris-farrell Henry Slade prevents Farrell scoring for Ireland. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Unlike previous clashes between these sides, this time Ireland had some success in the collisions. “We fronted up, power-wise and carried well, in that area, towards the end of the game. But for all the territory we had in the second half and all the possession we had throughout the game, it’s hard to see how we haven’t come away with more points.”
Asked what, in particular, impressed him about the World Cup finalists, Farrell pointed to their ‘ phenomenal’ work at the breakdown. “Every time I carried, I felt it was an absolute battle getting the ball back. I know the rules have made it tough, that you can’t have too many movements on the ground now.

england-team-huddle England huddle together before the game. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

“But they took advantage of that massively. They are so good at contesting attacking breakdowns. As we carry, they get in over the ball so quickly. They are a complete team.
“We know they have quality. They are a group that have been together quite a while now. We have a lot of areas to grow in.
“We have to be way more accurate in everything we do. When you are not getting to launch or strike off set-piece, that leaves you with a bit of a battle. We definitely have areas to improve on there. 
“We dealt with that defensively quite well. But it’s when we give them the ball off turnovers, we give them 14 points so, so easily. Like I make an error on Jonny May and he goes around the outside, is electrically quick and he makes the most of it.
“There were a few other errors in there.”
But there was some merit in the display: “We fired a shot in the second half and stuck in it, you can be a little bit more satisfied than we were in Paris. It was there for us against France and we didn’t take it; we didn’t fire the shots we wanted to fire.”

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Garry Doyle

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