Sunday 18 August 2019

'Fellahs are frustrated and upset' - Ireland captain Peter O'Mahony calls on the Grand Slam winners to up their game

Ireland captain Peter O'Mahony
Ireland captain Peter O'Mahony

Rúaidhrí O'Connor in Melbourne

Peter O'Mahony has called on his Grand Slam winning side to deliver the performance of the season to beat Australia and level the series in Melbourne tomorrow morning.

Joe Schmid's side suffered their first loss since losing to Wales during the 2017 Six Nations in last week's first Test and the captain wants the players to learn from their 18-9 defeat.

The coach has made eight changes to the losing team, while Michael Cheika has kept faith in the match-day squad who delivered the win in Brisbane.

And O'Mahony says Ireland are determined to bounce back and find another level of performance as they seek to level the series and ensure they go to Sydney next week with something to play for.

"Fellahs are frustrated and upset, it was a record we wanted to hold on to," he said after the Captain's Run this morning.

"But we're a team that understands that when something like that happens we have got to improve.

"It was up to us to have a good look at the game and see what areas we need to improve on.

"We understand that we were beaten by a better team last Saturday and we're going to have to put in a performance that has been better than any we've put in over the last 18 months to beat this Australia team.

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"The quality they have, their game-plan, they're one of the best teams in the world and we have to up our game from the standards we set in in the Six Nations, which we certainly didn't do last week."

O'Mahony is expecting an improved Australia at AAMI Park tomorrow.

"Absolutely, they're one of the best teams in the world and every time you go out you want to better your last performance," he said.

 "They’ve had another week now to gel together, to build on it and we’ve no doubt that they’ll be better than last week which is something that we have to prepare for and deal with.

"They're a superb team, but you build on your wins. You take the good with the bad and try to get better.

"That's what we've tried to do, that's what we have to do this week - be better than last week.

"It won't be different for them, they've a hunger to get better and we've no doubt they will be better.

"We want to better our performance every week and that's what we've been focusing on.

"We knew our performance wasn't up to scratch last week, we'd a good look at the areas we need to improve on and there was quite a few, which hasn't happened us in a while.

"But we've taken those learnings, tried to work on them during the week and hopefully that pays off on the weekend."

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