'Let’s learn the lessons from this and make sure we’re better next week'

Ireland can learn plenty from their talismanic captain.

Murray Kinsella reports from London

THERE IS RARELY too much time in a World Cup campaign to fix things, even if the solution seems obvious.

For Ireland, a week out from the important Pool D meeting with France, the need for improvement is all the greater.

Paul O'Connell and Jonathan Sexton Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“We got the win, we are into a quarter final,” said hooker Rory Best after yesterday’s game. “They were backed into a corner and came out firing. We need to be better but we know we can be better.

“We’ll regroup, take a long, hard look at the match and then park it. We’ll look at how we are going to beat France and how we are going to build on the performance. A couple of mistakes don’t make us a bad side.”

Best is a key leader in the Ireland squad and though Paul O’Connell deservedly gets the major plaudits, the hooker will be hammering home key messages to his teammates this week.

“Every now and again I think it does no harm to be brought back down to earth and Italy definitely did that today,” said Best.

What are they
really like?

Rare insights on sport's biggest names from the writers who know them best. Listen to Behind the Lines podcast.

Become a Member

“We know that when we get things right then we’re very good. When you don’t get things right at this level then really the gap isn’t a big one to bridge. Italy really put it up to us and put us under pressure.”

Keith Earls celebrates scoring their first try with Rory Best Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Best is always honest and considered in his words post-match and there was nothing different at Olympic Park.

We understand, there’s a lot of players that are used to playing big games and big games back to back. For us, it’ll be ‘let’s learn the lessons from this and make sure we’re better next week,’” said Best of Ireland.

“We’ve a seven-day turnaround to ramp things up and get ready, we talked about this game being the start of a big build-up and the World Cup really starts now.

“We’ve got past this game, it’s important we improve over the next two weeks if we want to do anything.”

Peter Stringer: England’s pool stage elimination puts Italy performance into perspective

Sergio Parisse: ‘Ireland kicked a lot and didn’t take any risks and that’s what they’re good it’

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

Read next: