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Stockdale: My mistakes weren't down to a lack of concentration


Jacob Stockdale is still learning his trade at full-back

Jacob Stockdale is still learning his trade at full-back

Jacob Stockdale is still learning his trade at full-back

Jacob Stockdale has rejected claims that his costly errors in Ireland's defeat to France last weekend were down to a lack of concentration.

The Ireland full-back has come in for plenty of criticism in the wake of the Six Nations finale in Paris, which saw Stockdale make a couple of poor mistakes.

In fronting up to the criticism, the 24-year old admitted that although his basics did let him down, it wasn't due to lapses in concentration.

Stockdale failed to mop up the ball in the lead-up to Ireland conceding a first-half penalty try, while some handling errors also detracted from his overall performance.

"Look, for me, it was disappointing," Stockdale admitted.

"We went over there hoping that we would be able to bring back a trophy and obviously that didn't go our way.

"For me personally, I felt like the basic parts of my game probably let me down. I did some stuff pretty well and then just not holding onto the ball properly, not making the right decision at the right times - that kind of basic bread-and-butter stuff that maybe you take for granted the odd time.

"I don't think it's a lack of concentration or anything like that. The ball was very greasy, probably surprisingly greasy. Maybe that was something that I hadn't necessarily prepared for properly.

"There are a number of different factors. Sometimes the ball can take a real awkward bounce all of a sudden and sometimes it feels a bit unfair.

"But look, I rate myself as being able to make sure that I can deal with that sort of stuff and I didn't, which is the disappointing part for me."

Stockdale has avoided social media over the last few days but that doesn't mean he is shying away from the improvements he must make in his game.

"I have kinda, over the last year or two, really learned to block out the noise to a certain extent," the Ulster man maintained.

"Funnily enough, when your mates are texting you saying 'Are you alright?', you kind of know that you are getting destroyed on social media anyway.

"I think I have got pretty good at being able to have four or five people's opinions that I know are really good rugby players or rugby coaches, and trust their opinions."

Stockdale is hoping to get another shot at full-back in Ireland's upcoming Autumn Nations Cup campaign, even if there have been calls for him to revert back to the wing.

"Unfortunately you probably take a bit more flak at full-back. I am happy to take that on the chin and admit that I am not the finished product at 15 yet. I am still learning the role and learning the position. But I am trying to get better."