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Dublin: 8°C Sunday 18 April 2021

'We have to take a long, hard look at ourselves'

Robbie Henshaw found it hard to spin positives out of Ireland’s loss in London.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

IRELAND CENTRE ROBBIE Henshaw was first pushed in front of the cameras to lament Ireland’s 24-12 loss to England in Twickenham.

It was a final scoreline that greatly flattered Ireland. And Henshaw, who scored Ireland’s opening try after 49 minutes, did not cut the figure of a man taking heart or painting over cracks by pointing out that Ireland out-scored their hosts in the second half.

“Extremely disappointed,” Henshaw told Virgin Media’s Sinead Kissane pitchside.

“Not the ideal start for us, giving them a two-try lead in that first half left us with a lot of work to do.

It’s not good enough. We fought back well in the second half, but we have to take a long hard look at ourselves. We knew they’d come out firing and we didn’t match them.”

Both Henshaw and captain Jonathan Sexton unwittingly echoed some of the messages that came from the Ireland camp before and after the World Cup quarter-final hammering against New Zealand, a ‘good week’ of preparation was presented. But Ireland again followed their best-laid plans with failure to deliver against top class opposition.

“We had a Triple Crown on the line, we couldn’t have been more motivated,” said Sexton.

“We had a great week’s build-up. Sometimes it goes like that. We need to figure out why.”

The captain and out-half highlights his own part in Ireland’s unravelling, coughing up the ball for George Ford to touch down a gift of an early try, but also cites wider issues with how his side played.

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jonathan-sexton-reacts-after-missing-a-penalty Sexton looks ruefully after missing a kick at goal. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“Similar to the Aviva game last year when we didn’t deal with some balls through. 14 points is a lot (to make up).”

He added: “Then we need to look at some of the things we did, why we tried to play a bit too much going backwards when we should have kicked.

“There’s some things we can control, but very disappointing all round.”

About the author:

Sean Farrell

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