Ireland Complete Preparations For Scotland Clash Later

  • Ireland Complete Preparations For Scotland Clash Later

Ireland Complete Preparations For Scotland Clash Later

Ireland captain Jonathan Sexton has promised more to come from his side after their unconvincing win over Scotland on Saturday.

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has backed captain Stuart Hogg to bounce back from his horror miss against Ireland and lead the team with his customary confidence against England next week.

"It was a decent start", the 44-year-old Englishman said.

The 34-year-old Irish great was satisfied with his performance.

Sexton had been out of action since a 45-minute shift in the European Champions Cup against Northampton Saints on December 7, and he has played just three times for Leinster in total this season.

"I had a really good feeling going into the [Ireland] game based on the way we trained".

"It is tough when you are in a brace for three weeks and then getting fit for the next three weeks".

Sexton praised the courage of the players declaring their performance in defense as "unbelievable". He's passionate about being captain of his country in the Six Nations for the first time.

"To deal with that and lead the side like that is truly magnificent".

Wales, under new head coach Wayne Pivac, sailed past Italy on Saturday to record a 42-0 victory in Cardiff while England begin their campaign against France on Sunday. Lots of lessons in there for us to learn'.

"We asked them to stand for something and again they showed true Irish grit".

Positivity and optimism is always a good thing but there must, and surely will, be honest conversations and work put in back at the Oriam training base this week on the glaring failings that lay behind the defeat. "It was a big win at home to start off", he said.

Having been crowned Grand Slam champions in 2018, Ireland failed to mount a title defence previous year after losing their opening match to England. "In this competition we all know what it's about and you need to get off to a winning start to try and roll on", he said. I thought we looked quite fluent at times, but sometimes we got a little carried away with our decision-making. "But don't get me wrong, we are not the finished article".

"We also gave away too many penalties: 15 penalties you are not going to win a Test match especially against an Ireland side that has lost only one Six Nations match at home in the past five years".

"It was a schoolboy error", said Hogg.

"I am bitterly disappointed to drop the ball over the line as the forwards had set me up brilliantly", he said.

But the first signs were encouraging, with the Irish looking to bounce back after an underwhelming Rugby World Cup in Japan, where they were beaten by New Zealand in the quarter-finals last October.