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Saturday 4 February 2023 Dublin: 11°C
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# Six Nations
Kidney eager to move on and focus on England
Irish coach believes players will be well motivated for Saturday’s game, when Ireland will be looking to deny England a Grand Slam.

IRELAND COACH DECLAN KIDNEY has said the team must not dwell on the controversial circumstances in which they lost Saturday’s Six Nations clash against Wales.

“Our job is to prepare for the next game. If we keep looking at the past we’ll never get anywhere,” said Kidney. The upcoming fixture with England in Dublin should help the players get over the weekend’s disappointment, he added:

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, that’s the test. This tests the team. I don’t think it will be hard to get this calibre of player ready for England.

Perhaps it is a measure of Kidney’s character that he can so easily move on from last Saturday’s refereeing foul-up. For some of the players however, the decision to allow Mike Philips’ try to stand is still something of a sore point. Rory Best joined Brian O’Driscoll and others in highlighting the impact the try had on the game:

There’s no doubt it was a real momentum-swinger that got their tails up. It was a big change in everyone’s mindset. Everyone has seen the footage and it speaks for itself.

However, Best was quick to point out that the officials could not be blamed for the 19-13 defeat, claiming Ireland “had enough chances before and after the dubious decision that it really shouldn’t have mattered.”

England come to Dublin on the back of a hard-fought 22-16 victory over Scotland at Twickenham. Martin Johnson’s side are in search of a first Grand Slam since 2003, when they went on to win the World Cup in Australia.

But they may well be without stand-in captain Mike Tindall after he came off with an ankle injury early in the second half. The talismanic captain, a veteran of that all-conquering 2003 side, left the ground wearing a protective boot and is waiting assessment from England medics. If Tindall is ruled out, Nick Easter is likely to captain the side.

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