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'It certainly isn't from a lack of trying': O'Mahony hoping Ireland unlock form for French Test

‘I’m not going to sit here and say we’re delighted with the performance.’

O'Mahony takes a line-out during Ireland's bonus point win in Italy.
O'Mahony takes a line-out during Ireland's bonus point win in Italy.

AS A VETERAN of Ireland’s 2013 defeat to Italy, a day when he wound up playing way out of position on the wing, Peter O’Mahony didn’t find it difficult to take one big positive from a bonus point-win in Rome.

The aesthetics of the outcome were not of immediate concern coming off the field and his own excellent performance was rewarded with a medal for the official man of the match award.

However, washed and dressed for post-match interviews, O’Mahony was not blind to the patchy performance Ireland delivered as a collective.

The main focus for the Corkman now is ‘unlocking’ a complete performance for the visit of a rejuvenated France to Dublin in two weeks’ time.

“Look, we know it’s there. We know we’re not far off,” said the blindside.

“We’ve just got to figure out what we need to do to unlock it a little bit. It certainly isn’t from a lack of trying.

“Guys are working hard. They’re working hard in training to put it right and try to get our combinations right. Another two weeks together… we’ll get away for a few hours on Monday and get back in later in the week and get our heads together and try and get it sorted.”

Joe Schmidt and Peter O'Mahony during the post match press conference Schmidt and O'Mahony during the post-match press conference. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

O’Mahony played a captain’s role in the second half, offering himself as a line-out option for Niall Scannell and continually impacting the breakdown. However, there was frustration in the playing ranks as handling errors sucked momentum from the visitors after a fortnight of demanding rhythm and cohesion.

“We struggled at times to be cohesive. There was certainly some good attacking play — but a lot of times it ended up in unforced errors. That was something we spoke about before the game, trying to be more cohesive and there were times we were. Just not enough of it I don’t think.”

Still, bonus point victories are always preferable to the other possible outcomes after a rough day in Rome.

“I said to a few of the lads afterwards, I was here in 2013, it’s difficult to win away from home in this competition. It’s so competitive.

Peter O'Mahony O'Mahony during the 2013 loss, which proved to be Declan Kidney's last in charge of Ireland. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“To get five points away from home, I was proud of the way the lads handled the second-half. We were under the pump, under pressure coming in at half-time.

“We were composed, we got clear messages that we implemented to a certain degree in the second-half.

“But look, there’s plenty for us to work on, I’m not going to sit here and say we’re delighted with the performance.”

- Additional reporting by Murray Kinsella

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