Thursday 27 June 2019

Murphy: Ireland will target attacking improvements for Italy


Assistant coach Richie Murphy. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Assistant coach Richie Murphy. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Assistant coach Richie Murphy says Ireland are not happy to come away from their dramatic victory over France without scoring a try.

Johnny Sexton's last-gasp drop-goal claimed a famous victory in Paris, but having analysed the game in the days since, the kicking specialist says there is plenty for the coaches and players to work on as they focus in on the meeting with Italy.

In particular, they have been reviewing their attacking work and are targeting improvements against the Azzurri.

"We are not happy we played a game in France and didn't come away with any tries," said Murphy.

"We're not in this to just kick penalties and drop goals, so our focus will be to try and tighten up that attack a little bit and try and apply enough pressure to Italy and make sure that those options are put away this week.

"We have got to move away from that French game and just take Italy for what is in front of us. We have seen and identified areas in our attacking game that we must try and improve and we will go with that."

Although a frozen pitch in Carton House disrupted their initial plans, Ireland trained yesterday afternoon at their base.

Jordan Larmour could feature when Joe Schmidt names his match-day 23 tomorrow and Murphy believes he is ready for the top level.

"He is very close to being ready," Murphy said. "He has come in over the last couple of weeks and done very well.

"He's learning very quickly. It is just a matter of whether it is right this week or not."

Former Leinster out-half Ian McKinley has been included in Italy's extended squad for the clash with Ireland at the Aviva.

The Dubliner, who made his international debut in November, was left out of Italy's match day squad for the Azzurri's opening defeat to England last weekend.

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