Kidney keen to move on

Ireland squad told to focus on England

Duncan Bech

Declan Kidney refuses to allow his Ireland players to dwell on the injustice of Saturday's 19-13 defeat by Wales.

Any faint Six Nations title hopes were extinguished at the Millennium Stadium when a controversial try by Mike Phillips left the Irish nursing a strong sense of grievance.

The try, scored from a quick lineout, should have been disallowed for a variety of reasons, but touch judge Peter Allan failed to spot the law breaches. Ireland were infuriated by the decision to allow the try, but Kidney insists his side must show their character by rallying in time for England's visit to Dublin on Saturday.

"Our job is to prepare for the next game. It's as simple and brutal as that," he said. "If we keep looking at the past we'll never get anywhere.

"But then we have to get on with it and then get ourselves ready for the next game. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, that's the test. This tests the team.

"I don't think it will be hard to get this calibre of player ready for England."

Phillips' 50th-minute touchdown proved to be the decisive score and hooker Rory Best left little doubt over the repercussions of Allan's blunder.

"There's no doubt it was a real momentum-swinger that got their tails up. It was a big change in everyone's mindset," he said.

"Everyone has seen the footage and it speaks for itself. But we feel we had enough chances before and after the dubious decision that it shouldn't really have mattered."

Ireland will equal their worst Six Nations performance should they lose to England.


In 2008 they lost two out of five games, resulting in the removal of coach Eddie O'Sullivan, who had presided over a dreadful World Cup the previous year.

Ireland will enter the climax of the tournament fired by an understandable sense of grievance and Best insists Grand Slam-chasing England offer a good opportunity to restore morale.

"England are the last game in the championship and our last competitive game before the World Cup," said the Ulster hooker. "England are on a great roll at the moment so it's a real opportunity to get back to winning ways and secure our first Six Nations win at the Aviva Stadium."