Wednesday 18 July 2018

Paul O'Connell: We are disappointed with how the game finished

Ireland captain Paul O'Connell hailed a "massive" RBS 6 Nations win over France at the Aviva Stadium but felt the hosts had been guilty of making mistakes.

The Irish survived a second-half surge from their opponents - which included the only try of the match, scored by Romain Taofifenua with around 10 minutes remaining - to seal an 18-11 victory, 15 points of which were secured by the kicking of the returning Johnny Sexton.

O'Connell said: "It is disappointing really, the way we finished the game.

"We weren't really all the things we want to be - we want to be disciplined, we want to be accurate, and we weren't as good at those things as we'd like to be. We turned over the ball unnecessarily.

"But they are a good side, and a big side, with a lot of very skillful players. So for us to get a win is massive.

Read more: Flawless Sexton the hero as scrappy Ireland edge past France

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"The defensive effort in the second half was great - you'd rather defend with the ball, and rather have the ball for longer, putting them under pressure and defending that way, but we turned over the ball a lot and you can't do that with them.

"They are a good side and they scored a good try in the end - I guess the pressure told eventually against us."

Ireland join England - 47-17 victors at home against Italy earlier on Saturday - on two wins from two matches ahead of their meeting at the Aviva Stadium on March 1.

And O'Connell added: "I think today is great - every time we beat them it is massive.

"But I think that game against England is going to be another level. I think it is going to be a challenge like not many of us have faced before."

Read more: Perfect 10 for our number 10: Here is how the Ireland players rated against France

Read more: Flawless Sexton the hero as scrappy Ireland edge past France

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