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Andy Farrell slams Ireland's inability to have 'courage of own convictions' as injury list mounts


Ireland head coach Andy Farrell at the Autumn Nations Cup match between Ireland and Georgia. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell at the Autumn Nations Cup match between Ireland and Georgia. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell at the Autumn Nations Cup match between Ireland and Georgia. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Andy Farrell was left to count the cost of a terrible Ireland performance that was just about good enough to beat Georgia at home.

The Ireland head coach cut a disconsolate figure as he slammed his side's inability to have the “courage of your own convictions.”

It remains to be seen what kind of damaging impact this shocking display has on Ireland going forward, as Farrell was left to sweat over several players ahead of Saturday's final Autumn Nations Cup game against Scotland.

“Not good enough, not good enough,” Farrell said.

“Certainly in that second 40 it wasn’t the standard we expect of ourselves.

“Specifically, the bigger picture stuff, if you haven't the courage of your own convictions then your follow through with whatever it may be...

“If you are trying to get the ball to the wide channels, let’s do it properly. Let’s make sure that there’s proper intent in our play to get in there. There certainly was opportunities for us to get into space out wide and we just tucked and turned ourselves back inside on a number of occasions and got turned over at the breakdown.

“They hunted hard there us at the breakdown and then on the other side of that, when we punched onto a ball, we punched onto a ball a couple of times towards the end of the game, really hard and then our breakdown work was able to follow but sometimes I didn’t think we had conviction with our carry as well and they were able to swallow our ball up.

“There’s obviously something to do with the third quarter.

“Obviously for the try I thought we’d a couple of really good two-man hits that were dominant. Our lineout in general was good and then our lineout pressure defensively was good and created a bit of bother for them.

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“We needed to just stick to the plan and keep putting the pressure on Georgia by keep turning them around etc but we decided to play a lineout and go wide and it was on to go wide but we commit ourselves properly to it.

“Again all these things add up to giving the opposition energy and belief.”

To make matters worse, Billy Burns was forced with a groin injury, while several others picked up knocks which will have to be assessed ahead of the Scots coming to Dublin next weekend.

"I don't know what to say really, there's quite a few," Farrell continued.

"Rob Herring has something he needs to be looked at regarding his rib.

“Billy felt something in his groin in the warm-up. He said he was fine to play and played a nice first 40 I thought but he's nursing a groin injury.

"Conor (Murray) got a bang, a dead leg, so we have to look after him but he'll be fine.

“Will Connors came off for a HIA so it's a six-day turnaround, we'll see how that goes. Keith Earls had a back spasm and had to come off as well, so quite a bit of disruption but that's nothing to do with the second-half performance."

Scotland will fancy their chance of turning over Ireland, who look shorn of confidence, as Farrell warned that Gregor Townsend's men will indeed be dangerous opponents.

"I think they're a big threat,” the Ireland boss added.

“They're playing well, they play a nice brand of rugby and the last time we played them here, it was a difficult match.

“They played really well that night so I'm sure after watching that second-half performance and taking stock of what happened in the Six Nations, I'm sure they will see that as an opportunity that they might try to take back, so we'll see what we're about this week."

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