Friday 23 August 2019

Stuart McCloskey: We were lucky to get away with the win

18 November 2017; Stuart McCloskey of Ireland is tackled by Ben Volavola of Fiji during the Guinness Series International match between Ireland and Fiji at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
18 November 2017; Stuart McCloskey of Ireland is tackled by Ben Volavola of Fiji during the Guinness Series International match between Ireland and Fiji at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Centre Stuart McCloskey admits Ireland still have plenty to work on despite claiming a narrow 23-20 win over Fiji.

Ian Keatley's two late penalties dug Ireland out of a hole as Joe Schmidt's experimental side snatched an unconvincing win in Dublin.

Ireland squandered a 17-3 lead established by tries from Darren Sweetnam, Dave Kearney and Jack Conan, and almost paid the price for young fly-half Joey Carbery's two missed conversions.

"We were lucky to get away with the win there," McCloskey told Sky Sports Main Event.

"Right now he (Ireland boss Schmidt) will be happy we've got the win. He'll be looking back at a lot of mistakes and lot of turnovers.

"They were great at the breakdown, but we knew that coming in. We just didn't perform at the breakdown as we would have liked."

Ireland made 13 changes from last weekend's record 38-3 victory over South Africa and endured some nervy moments en route to their slender win over the eye-catching Pacific Islanders.

Henry Seniloli and Timoci Nagusa claimed tries for Fiji, with Ben Volavola slotting 10 points from the tee.

International Rugby Newsletter

Rugby insights and commentary from our renowned journalists like Neil Francis, Will Slattery, Alan Quinlan & Cian Tracey.

Fiji lock Leone Nakarawa was frustrated after the slender defeat.

"Today it was a disappointing game for us," the 29-year-old said.

"We didn't play to our strengths. We didn't play to our system and that's a result that's disappointing today."

PA Media

The Left Wing: The 'hell' of World Cup training camp, Ireland's half-back dilemma and All Blacks uncertainty

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport