Ireland's Andy Farrell says game management must improve
By Reuters 32m ago
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DUBLIN – Ireland coach Andy Farrell rued his side's inability to take what few chances they had in Sunday's 15-13 loss to France and said their game management needs to improve if they are to salvage anything from this year's Six Nations.
France were deserved winner's in Dublin but only after the hosts failed to turn their first quarter dominance into more than three points and conceded the first try of the game when their opponents had a player in the sin bin.
"A couple of days ago people were writing us off, we never wrote ourselves off but it's one that's slipped away from us in the end," Farrell told a news conference, referring to the triple injury blow to captain Johnny Sexton, scrumhalf Conor Murray and lock James Ryan after their opening defeat to Wales.
"We'll rue a few decisions that we made… I thought we managed the first half pretty well, I thought the third quarter (of the half) we just lost our way a little bit in terms of game management and I suppose that got them back in the game."
Ireland's set piece was solid again with lock and stand-in skipper Iain Henderson praising the impact of former captain and new forwards coach Paul O'Connell. "His words carry a lot of weight," the Ulster second row said.
But Ireland have been struggling to create chances in recent games and make their possession count, something they need to put right against Italy in Rome in two weeks' time.
"Ultimately we've got three games left, our backs are against the wall and we have to pull out performances, for not only the next game but the next three games," Henderson said.
"We're definitely seeing progress, everyone's trying their best to produce that progress on the pitch but I think it's that last couple of inches, we just need to push it over the line."