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Ireland’s Guinness Six Nations dream is still alive following their 50-17 win over Italy at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.
Speaking after the game, Ireland Head Coach Andy Farrell was happy with the bonus-point win.
“We got out of it what we wanted to – the bonus-point win. It takes us into the final week and we’re still in the hunt.”
Though the concession of a late try was frustrating, overall Farrell said he thought “we defended so well. I thought we created out own energy. We had great energy, great line speed. We got some good turnovers on the back of it. We were a bit frustrated in the end, but I thought our defence was excellent today.”
Work ethic was good
The Englishman was impressed with the debutants and less experienced players’ performances, with Hugh Keenan, Will Connors and Dave Heffernan in particular shining.
“The work ethic is there for all to see. I’m delighted for all of the lads. They played exceptional all of them. I’m just gutted their parents could have been here to see the game. They’ve worked so hard taking them around the country. They deserved to be here, but anyway, it is what it is.”
Centre Garry Ringrose left the field during the game for a HIA after a knock to the jaw. Farrell explained however that he passed the HIA but looked to have fractured his jaw.
“It looks like he’s had some back luck. He had a bang to the jaw. It doesn’t look too great. It looks as though he could have some type of fracture. He looks like he could be out for 4, 5, 6 weeks.”
It was later confirmed that Ringrose had in fact sustained a broken jaw.
Paris next weekend
Looking ahead to next weekend, the Irish management team is well aware of the task facing Ireland. If they achieve a bonus point win in Paris, they could be crowned 2020 Guinness Six Nations Champions.
Farrell is aware of the difficulty of winning in Paris:
“Next week, it’s a tall order to go to Paris and win over there. We know that if we got a bonus point, we could win the Trophy. That’s a tall order, isn’t it? We’ve got to make sure we analyse this performance and assess where we’re at and try and get better next week.”
He knows well it’s one thing beating Italy in Dublin, but beating the French in Paris will require a much improved overall performance from his side.
“We’re going to have to be better in all aspects of our game,” Farrell admitted. “They’re a formidable side, especially over there in Paris. We need to be better across the board. A little more composure on the ball at times would help. We’re in the hunt though. We should be looking forward to it as well.”