Saturday 24 February 2018

O'Mahony seeks further progress

Peter O'Mahony is determined to avoid giving Canada too many penalties
Peter O'Mahony is determined to avoid giving Canada too many penalties

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.

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

He added: "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 gameplan 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."

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