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O'Mahony calls for cool heads


Ireland captain Peter O'Mahony. Picture: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

Ireland captain Peter O'Mahony. Picture: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

Ireland captain Peter O'Mahony. Picture: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

Ireland captain Peter O'Mahony says his team will not take a backwards step against a physical Canadian team on Saturday.

The Munster back-row led from the front against a physical US Eagles side last weekend as Ireland emerged with a narrow win and, after Canada overcame Tonga in a bad-tempered affair, Les Kiss's squad know they must hold their discipline at the BMO Field.

While the Tongans have had three players suspended since and were the main instigators in Kingston, the US showed the Canadians a way at getting at the Irish, by winning the contest up front.


And O'Mahony believes that, while the players must be disciplined, they also must stand up for themselves.

But with a goal-kicker of the calibre of Australian-born Canada back James Pritchard around, he wants his team to keep their heads.

O'Mahony explained: "We had six penalties against us last week and that is the kind of standard we want to be setting.

"Pritchard is a good player and he will punish us. We're focusing this week on our attack and our go-forward ball. We are looking forward to getting stuck in and being precise about it.

"We don't really talk about that sort of stuff, we're going to get on with our jobs.

"If that kind of stuff is going on, I'd like to think that we're smart enough now to get on with it and not get involved. That's not to say we'll leave any player behind, but we're not really talking about it during the week, we're just talking about being precise."

After the boot of Ian Madigan saw Ireland home on Saturday, there is a need for the tourists to finish their chances at the BMO field this weekend.

The Americans came too close for comfort in the minds of the Irish side who spurned a gilt-edged chance to pull away early in the second half in Houston, when Robbie Henshaw dropped Fergus McFadden's pass.

Their poor work at the breakdown was also a downfall and O'Mahony believes getting that right will help them across the whitewash.

O'Mahony continued: "The breakdown was the big issue the other night.

"The line-break with Ferg and Robbie was maybe the opportunity and, if we'd got that, we'd have kicked on and pushed for more.


"That's the way it went and, obviously, our game plan is to create a couple of scoring chances and score some tries over the weekend. That's up to us really, to get our breakdown right. That is where rugby is at the moment and we were poor there by anyone's standards, we'll have to improve this week. It's not about numbers, it is about precision."

Ireland coach Kiss names his team this evening, with Andrew Trimble and Paddy Jackson expected to come into the side.

The squad were on a down day yesterday and a number travelled to Niagara Falls as part of a pre-arranged trip. However, a number were still recovering from the stomach bug which has affected preparations for the game.