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Bernard Jackman points out ‘big concerns’ in Irish performance


Bernard Jackman believes Ireland “got away with” beating Scotland, after they left a 14-point lead slip in the second-half.

Ireland eventually secured an away win against the Scots thanks to a late penalty from Johnny Sexton, but should never have been in the position of losing the game after stretching their lead to 14 points early in the second half.

Former Ireland international Bernard Jackman was speaking to Morning Ireland on RTE Radio 1, and expressed disbelief at the manner in which Scotland were allowed back into the game.

“It was a game we had to win twice. Which is a little bit crazy. Luckily, we got away with it, thanks to Johnny’s composure in nailing that kick in the final few minutes,” Jackman said.

“There’s still big concerns. Defensively, we missed double the amount of tackles that Scotland did. And this was a game where Johnny Sexton was 100%, Finn Russell didn’t kick well, they ended up having to put Stuart Hogg into 10 and take over the kicking.

“Plus, they’d to put a number nine in at back-row, such were the injuries they had.

“And we had pretty much exclusive lineout ball from them. Their lineout completely malfunctioned and in fairness, Paul O’Connell’s defensive lineout is top class.”

‘England vs France was a different level’

Despite the win in Edinburgh, Ireland head coach Andy Farrell and Sexton were somewhat critical of their performance, with both acknowledging that “unacceptable” defensive errors were made.

Jackman was pleased to hear members of the Ireland camp put their hands up over the mixed performance, as the side have been largely defensive of their Six Nations campaign so far.

“In the games we’ve played in the Six Nations, we’ve dominated possession yet we’ve had a really high level of missed tackles,” Jackman explained.

“It was good to hear Johnny [Sexton] talking about it because I’ve felt up until now they’ve been covering over it.

“It’s a short turnaround so hopefully we can make improvements there because anyone who watched England-France on Saturday, it was a different level altogether.”

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