Friday 20 October 2017

'We're very disappointed but alarm bells are not ringing' - Paul O'Connell

Paul O'Connell of Ireland looks dejected after defeat at Twickenham
Action Images via Reuters / Henry Browne
Paul O'Connell of Ireland looks dejected after defeat at Twickenham Action Images via Reuters / Henry Browne

Barry Lennon

PAUL O’CONNELL has said that ‘alarm bells don’t need to ring’ after Ireland’s 21-13 defeat to England in Twickenham.

Joe Schmidt’s men registered their second World Cup warm-up defeat in a row following their loss to Wales in the Aviva last weekend.

“I wouldn’t say alarm bells would be ringing but we’re very disappointed, you know. We’re not so much interested in the result but about all the things that go into it,” O’Connell said.

“I think the last three games we’ve fallen short of a lot of the things that we need to do.    

O’Connell conceded that the better team lost after Ireland had a misfiring start in defence– with Jonny May scoring after two minutes for the English.

 “We started very poorly. I think England dealt with the aerial threat very well. We kept the ball in hand. We dropped it, kept turning over the ball, put a lot of pressure on the English line-out.

"But when they got a seven meter drive, they forced a penalty advantage and scored a try off it. When we lost it England stole it. We can’t accumulate that many losses, especially in the first half.

O’Connell scored his second try of 2015 and potentially his last in England’s Twickenham stadium -  depending how far Ireland progress in the World Cup.

Meanwhile, England’s captain Chris Robshaw was pleased with the victory over a ‘quality side’ like Ireland but admitted the English could  have been more clinical – having two tries disallowed.

“We’re normally quite good but we could have two tries out there. It’s a bit of shame we weren’t more clinical but that’s something we might have to improve upon.

“We knew Ireland were a very good side. We didn’t want to give any cheap points. Getting 21 points is pretty good. You can only give away so many points, Can’t you?

“But all in all, we’re in a much better place than we were two weeks ago. Discipline was a major issue for us then. It shows we can be pretty good when we stick to our system

“It’s to get a good result against a quality side like Ireland and also at home.”

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