Andy Farrell is convinced Ireland remain in contention for Six Nations glory and praised his players for not collapsing to a “cricket score” during the chastening loss to England.
Ireland must quickly regroup after dreams of a Grand Slam were abruptly destroyed by an emphatic 24-12 defeat at Twickenham.
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England head coach Eddie Jones claimed his side could have declared at half-time of Sunday’s one-sided contest after powering into a deserved 17-0 lead.
Ireland improved in the second period but were flattered by the final scoreline, with their overall performance raising serious questions about their title credentials.
Head coach Farrell remains defiant following the maiden defeat of his short reign and, asked if Ireland can reclaim the championship they last won in 2018, he replied: “100 per cent.
“We will take the learnings and the hurt as well. We will take the disappointment and again we need to make sure we get it to the last weekend.
“We are in it, you know, we are in a competition. We are in the same position as a few other teams and we need to be disappointed with this.”
Calamitous individual errors mixed with the hosts’ relentless aggression left the Irish with an insurmountable task at Twickenham.
Ahead of the game, the spotlight had been firmly fixed on home coach Jones following England’s unconvincing start to the tournament and a bold team selection, coupled with some controversial remarks to the media.
The Australian’s game-plan was more than vindicated by a dominant success, prompting his cricket analogy.
“We played with a lot of control. We read the conditions well, read the referee well, and at half-time if it was a cricket game, we could have declared,” he said.
Questioned on those provocative comments from his opposite number, Farrell replied: “Is that what he said?
“There are plenty of teams who would have been here – us included in the past – that when an [England] side have been brimming at half-time, they probably would have felt they could get to a cricket score. You know, we can give ourselves credit for that.
“We started the second half pretty well with a bit of intent and a good side like they are they came back, but we finished the game off strong.
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