March 24, 2017

Six Nations: Skipper Rory Best admits Ireland were sloppy

05 February 2017, 01:33 | Carolyn Briggs

Six Nation Captains

Six Nation Captains

They trailed 21-8 at half-time with their brightest moment coming when Keith Earls was fed by Simon Zebo for his 20th worldwide try.

A lacklustre Ireland went down 27-22 to Scotland at Murrayfield to end any hopes of a Triple Crown or Grand Slam at the very first hurdle. "I'm really happy for the players for the work they put in during the week".

It was perhaps no suprise that Ireland came out firing for the second half and seven minutes in lock Iain Henderson drove in from close range for a try, Jackson converting.

It seemed like the first half was just a minor blip for Ireland as they amazingly took the lead in the 62nd minute when Jackson managed to stretch out and touch the line after it looked like he was about to come up short. "We needed to score at least once more".

However, there was another twist when Ireland were penalised for not rolling away and Laidlaw drilled his effort through the posts.

A team who have suffered numerous late defeats in the recent past could have folded at that point but Laidlaw's instead men held firm, with the skipper slotting over two late penalties to secure a precious win.

"I really felt we clawed our way back into the game to get ahead at 22-21", he said. I don't think we started particularly well - we lost a scrum and a lineout - but we made up for it with some lineout defence and then we were pretty critical at the breakdown, which is pretty key to playing them, and the guys did roll their sleeves up and were reasonably accurate, and kept them out and we got turnovers.

"We were very passive, we were very slow to get ourselves set, and that was incredibly disappointing because it's something that we work incredibly hard on". We arrived at the stadium ten or fifteen minutes late and we were late for most things in the first half.

"I thought we found a way to get us in trouble again but we dominated first half and I think they dominated large parts of the second half and there was composure in the end and we got what we wanted". It will be a tough reflection on Monday.

"You're always trying to bed things in as best you can in training, but until you actually get into the match arena and that pressure that comes with it, with that very slow ball we were getting in the first half, it does make it very hard".

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