Ireland: 'Not good enough'
REACTION: A deeply disappointed Andy Farrell labelled Ireland’s performance as “not good enough” after their 23-10 win over Georgia in the Nations Cup at Lansdowne Road on Sunday.
The 45-year-old head coach added next Saturday’s play-off opponents Scotland will be emboldened at gaining revenge for their narrow 19-12 Six Nations loss in Dublin earlier this year.
Farrell found the first-half more to his taste where Billy Burns shone at flyhalf on his first Test start scoring 15 of the hosts’ 20 points.
However, Burns departed early in the second-half and they lost shape and their heads as the Lelos kept themselves in the game.
It was a vastly-improved performance from the visitors – a dazzling individual try by Giorgi Kveseladze the highlight – after losing 0-40 and 0-18 to England and Wales.
“It was not good enough certainly in the second 40 minutes,” said Farrell.
“It was not the standard we expect of ourselves. We gave the Georgians the belief that they could win the game.”
Farrell rued a Stuart McCloskey try ruled out shortly before half-time for a forward pass and captain James Ryan being held up on the line right on the whistle at the break.
“I don’t know the rules anymore. The linesman rules it is a try and the referee says no,” he commented dryly.
“James goes over the line but it is not given.”
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‘Foot off the pedal’
However, Farrell said there was no excuse for the second-half performance.
“You have got to have the courage of your convictions and follow through,” he said.
“We needed to stick to our plan in the second-half but when we decided to go wide we did not commit ourselves.
“Sometimes we could have gone wide but instead we went inside. I see it as a missed opportunity, a tale of two halves.”
Farrell said they only had a six day turnaround to fix things and a lengthy injury list coming out of the Georgia game.
Burns has a groin problem which he had felt in the warm-up, Conor Murray had a dead leg and hooker Rob Herring a sore rib while Keith Earls a back spasm and Will Connors will undergo head injury protocols.
“We need to be honest with ourselves and make sure there is a better 80 minutes next weekend. The Scots are a big threat, play a nice brand of rugby,” he said.
“Last time we played them it was a difficult match.
“After watching that second-half performance and taking stock of it they will see it as an opportunity for revenge.”
Ryan has had a tough baptism of fire in captaining the side in the absence of the injured Johnny Sexton — the 18-7 defeat by England last weekend and Sunday’s lacklustre performance.
“We took our foot off the pedal in the second-half and the Georgians fronted up massively in the second-half,” said Ryan.
Head coach Levan Maisashvili said he was proud of his team and it illustrated how their hopes of a place in the Six Nations were not a fantasy.
“We need to be patient and have more time to play against high level opposition,” he said.
“I don’t know if it is commercial reasons that are blocking our way, but we need chances.”