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'Not good enough. We didn’t have any courage of our own conviction' - Farrell

The Ireland head coach was frustrated his team couldn’t kick on after a ‘decent’ first half.

It was a dispiriting outing for Ireland.
It was a dispiriting outing for Ireland.

IRELAND BOSS ANDY Farrell has said his side’s second-half performance in their 23-10 win over Georgia wasn’t of the standard they aspire to.

Ireland led the visitors 20-7 at half-time of their Autumn Nations clash in Dublin but only managed to score three further points in a miserable second-half performance.

A downbeat Farrell expressed his frustration at Ireland’s inability to kick on.

“Not good enough, not good enough,” said Farrell when asked for his assessment of his team’s showing. “Certainly in that second 40, it wasn’t the standard we expect of ourselves.

“Especially playing at home after a first 40 that I thought was decent enough at times, still obviously things to fix at half-time but two tries [that were disallowed], one from a forward pass and I don’t know the rules any more regarding that.

“We have a touch judge telling us it’s a try and then a referee that says it’s not a try.

“James Ryan is over the line just before half time, he’s got the ball down, so he says. So there’s still things to fix but I thought our game flowed a little bit in the first half.

“We come out in the second half and I just thought we didn’t have any courage of our own conviction. Georgia thoroughly deserved the right to slow our game down by being total menaces at the breakdown and fair play to them for that but that’s not good enough from us.”

Asked specifically what his team could have done better in the second half, Farrell pointed to poor decision-making and execution in attack.

“If you haven’t the courage of your own convictions then your follow through with whatever it may be… If you are trying to get the ball to the wide channels, let’s do it properly. Let’s make sure that there’s proper intent in our play to get it there.

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ross-byrne-reacts Ireland's Ross Byrne alongside Rob Herring. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“There certainly was opportunities for us to get into space out wide and we just tucked and turned ourselves back inside on a number of occasions and got turned over at the breakdown. They hunted us hard at the breakdown.

“Then on the other side of that, when we punched onto a ball, we punched onto a ball a couple of times towards the end of the game, really hard and tough, then our breakdown work was able to follow but sometimes I didn’t think we had conviction with our carry as well and they were able to swallow our ball up.”

Farrell confirmed a raft of new injury concerns for Ireland ahead of next weekend’s play-off clash with Scotland at the Aviva Stadium.

Out-half Billy Burns was forced off with a groin injury he first suffered in the warm-up, Keith Earls had a back spasm, Rob Herring has sustained a rib injury, Conor Murray picked up a dead leg, and Will Connors was replaced after a head injury.

Ireland must now steel themselves for a six-day turnaround for the visit of Scotland on Saturday, with Gregor Townsend’s side sure to be sensing an opportunity.

“I think they’re a big threat,” said Farrell. “They’re playing well, they play a nice brand of rugby, and the last time we played them here, it was a difficult match. They played really well that night so I’m sure after watching that second-half performance and taking stock of what happened in the Six Nations, I’m sure they will see this as an opportunity that they might try to take back, so we’ll see what we’re about this week.

“It’s a six-day turnaround so there’s not going to be that much time on the field to fix a few things but we’ve got to be honest with each other and make sure there’s a better 80-minute performance next weekend.” 

About the author:

Murray Kinsella  / Reports from the Aviva Stadium

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