Tuesday 23 October 2018

Montage of post-drop goal celebrations lightens mood in Irish camp

Ireland's fly-half Jonathan Sexton (R) celebrates with Ireland's centre Bundee Aki after scoring a drop goal to win the Six Nations rugby union match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France
Ireland's fly-half Jonathan Sexton (R) celebrates with Ireland's centre Bundee Aki after scoring a drop goal to win the Six Nations rugby union match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France
Tadhg Furlong. Photo: Sportsfile
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

You could be forgiven for thinking the Ireland camp is a very serious place all of the time, but there is the odd moment where levity is allowed.

Joe Schmidt is not a man known for his fondness of post-score celebrations, but he and his coaches lightened the mood during the video review session of the win over France by showing the players the pile-on that greeted Johnny Sexton's drop-goal and comparing it with goal celebrations from football.

The coach hopes the team's capacity to pull a big win out of the fire like that will stand to them in the future and Tadhg Furlong believes it will bring them closer together.

"We had a little bit of a joke about it. There was a montage comparing it to some soccer goals which is good to lighten the mood at the start of a team meeting," Furlong said with a smile.

"When you have such a big moment like that after being under the pump, they scored a try, we have to claw our way back and find a way to win and I suppose the manner that we did it, the manner of the drop goal and the last kick of the game and there was such a build-up, as a collective obviously it brings you a massive amount of satisfaction.

Manner

"It's the manner of the last kick of the game, you scored a goal in extra time sort of job to clinch the win. Especially in the Six Nations, when it means so much.

"There was a lot of pressure on to perform and to win like that, there was an outpouring."

Furlong believes the finish will stand to Ireland when they find themselves in tight spots in the future.

"When your backs are against the wall the lads aren't going to throw in the towel," he said.

"They are going to work hard no matter how ominous the situation.

"There is belief there, we have players of quality like Johnny who made the cross kick, Hendy (Iain Henderson) who took the restart and a lot of the carrying and rucking work that went in to it. If we are in that position again then we know that we can get out of it.

"It's about winning. There's definitely aspects of our game that we want to improve on but a win in an historically hard place for teams to go is very pleasing."

Irish Independent

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