Sunday 18 March 2018

O’Mahony’s hunger for Ireland victories undimmed by shattered title dreams

Peter O'Mahony
Peter O'Mahony
Conor George

Conor George

IRELAND players are driven by a need to right the wrongs of the last two matches, according to Peter O'Mahony.

The back-row spoke about how the players remain deeply motivated by the honour associated with representing Ireland.

O'Mahony acknowledged that the players are hurting after their recent losses.

But they are channelling that ache into productivity. They are determined to turn their fortunes around against France.

"Fellas are really looking forward to the weekend. We just want to put it right," said O'Mahony (pictured).

"It's never easy to take a loss, especially in an international jersey. I honestly feel fellas are really looking forward to getting back into it and putting it right. It's horrible to take after the game and your mood is probably the worst it has been for a long time afterwards.

"But there's always another game and you have to dust yourself off. We trained really well during the week and that has given us loads of confidence."

O'Mahony's Ireland colleagues are effusive in their praise of his willingness to put his body on the line.

That robustness will be needed in abundance tomorrow. France have selected a team based on brawn rather than guile.

"France are always a very physical team regardless of the style they're playing. No matter who is in their eight (forwards) they will be physical and look to take the game to you," he said.

"We know what way it's going to come. We have to back ourselves, especially our defence. We have the best defensive record in the Six Nations so far. We have to trust in that.

"Look, the motivation is pulling on the Ireland jersey. That never goes away.

"That the championship is gone for us isn't lessening that for me. Personally I have a huge appetite to succeed with Ireland. That's in matches, in training ... everywhere.

"The losses to England and Scotland have given me more of a want to get stuck in and do what I can.

"We are a pass or two away from some really positive things happening.

"If one or two of those dropped passes go to hand, we'd be having a very different press conference.

"That's the thing. We're not far off. We need ... maybe the bounce of a ball or a bit of luck going our way. It will happen. I really believe that. It's just a case of when."

IRELAND – R Kearney; F McFadden, B O'Driscoll, L Marshall, K Earls; P Jackson, C Murray; C Healy, R Best, M Ross, M McCarthy, D Ryan, P O'Mahony, S O'Brien, J Heaslip (capt). Reps: S Cronin, D Kilcoyne, S Archer, D O'Callaghan, I Henderson, E Reddan, I Madigan, L Fitzgerald.

Irish Independent

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