Johnny Sexton has given a blunt appraisal of his side’s performance after they almost scuppered a 14-point lead against Scotland late on at Murrayfield.
While Ireland did secure a three-point win over the Scots, Andy Farrell’s men made life much harder than it needed to be, having looked in complete control with just over 20 minutes remaining.
Scotland came roaring back into the game through a Huw Jones try, as a result of a poor attempted tackle from James Lowe.
Sexton was speaking to Virgin Media after the game and admitted frustration over Ireland repeatedly making defensive errors that have plagued them in recent times.
“Just stick to the process. It was tough enough in here today with the swirling wind.
“Just try pick your line and bang it at the left post.
“I got a little bit lucky, wasn’t my best strike of the day.”
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) March 14, 2021
“It’s the same old story sometimes with us. We’re just letting in soft tries, tries that just aren’t acceptable at international level,” Sexton said.
“It’s frustrating because I felt we dominated large parts of that game. We’re 14 points up and suddenly we’re drawing with a few minutes to go.
“But it was great character to stay in the moment and bounce back. They’re the things we’ve been working on. The other part we’ve been working on is keeping our concentration and not giving away soft tries like we did.”
‘There’s so much at stake’
While Ireland aren’t in the running for the Six Nations title having lost their two first games of the championship, Sexton was clear on the importance of this Saturday’s game against England.
This weekend represents a major opportunity for players across Britain and Ireland to stake a claim for the upcoming Lions tour, something which Sexton is acutely aware of.
“Every time you put on the Ireland jersey you want to make everyone proud at home, you want to make your teammates and family proud,” Sexton explained.
“No matter what is on the line, even though we can’t win this championship anymore, there is a lot at stake.
“We’re playing for our jerseys, trying to get on Lions tours, there’s so much at stake. If we can finish second after the start we had in this competition it won’t be a bad result.”