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Bernard Jackman unimpressed by ‘par’ Irish performance against Italy


Ireland need more than a bonus-point win against Italy to show that they’ve made progress under Andy Farrell, according to Bernard Jackman.

Since Farrell took over as Ireland head coach at the start of 2020, the men in green have yet to really claim a big scalp, with wins over Scotland and Wales the crowning achievements under the new coaching team.

Ireland showed their attacking ability in the 38-point win against Italy in Rome, but have underperformed against the likes of France and England in the last year or so.

Jackman was speaking on the RTE Rugby podcast and stressed the need for a win against Scotland or England in the final two rounds of the 2021 Six Nations.

Bernard Jackman: Ireland must beat Scotland & England.

“Ireland need to beat Scotland or England to get that big win for the team because they haven’t had it yet, realistically,” Jackman said.

“Weโ€™ve beaten a poor Scottish team and a poor Welsh team in Dublin last year, but we need a [big] win. They needed [the win over Italy]. It came at the right time.

“They needed a win to validate what they are doing to give them that feel-good factor but Scotland, with Steve Tandy coaching their defence, itโ€™s a different matter. Weโ€™ll be tested defensively against them.

“In the next two games weโ€™ll find out if this new attacking framework can handle a team with line speed and good line integrity, which Italy didnโ€™t have.”


‘I think the Irish players talked it up too much.’

Members of the Ireland squad were understandably happy after the bonus-point win against Italy, having lost their first two matches in the championship against Wales and France.

While the victory in Rome will help the side’s confidence as they come against tougher challenges in the weeks ahead, Jackman reckons Ireland were overly complimentary of themselves in the aftermath of the game.

“It was about par. I think the Irish players nearly talked it up too much,” Jackman said of the win against Italy.


“I looked back at what England and France said about putting Italy to the sword and they werenโ€™t talking about it as if it was a talismanic moment in their journey.

“Itโ€™s a given to get a bonus point against Italy. We did it and the challenge now is to beat Scotland or England.”

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