Six Nations 2014: O’Connell urges Ireland to move forward from loss

Six Nations 2014: Paul O'Connell admits Ireland failed to keep their foot to the throttle after a 13-10 loss to England on Saturday

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles

Paul O’Connell has urged Ireland to move forward from their Twickenham loss ahead of their next Six Nations encounter against Italy.

Joe Schmidt’s side suffered a close-fought 13-10 defeat by England on Saturday which ended their hopes of a potential Grand Slam as the only unbeaten side left in the championship heading into the clash following France’s loss in Wales.

When we had that pressure after half-time, we needed to maintain it and keep our foot on the throttle but we didn’t do that

Paul O’Connell

However, Danny Care’s try proved to be decisive for the hosts as Ireland were unable to make up the three-point deficit in the final 20 minutes of the encounter at the home of English rugby.

Asked about the possibility of winning the Six Nations championship, Ireland captain O’Connell replied: “It would be a massive deal for a team but when you lose a game within a championship, it’s the last thing you think about.

“It’s probably going to be a very tough review during the week and try to put that game to bed and move forward.

“Italy were only narrowly beaten by Scotland with a drop goal and we’re just going to have to focus 100 per cent on getting a result and whatever happens after that happens.”

Ireland had overturned England’s 3-0 half-time lead within minutes of the restart as Rob Kearney was able to complete a smart set-piece routine to give the visitors a 7-3 lead before Jonny Sexton added a penalty.

And O’Connell felt Ireland were dominating their bitter rivals in the opening stages of the second half but crucially failed to continue their momentum as Mike Brown created Care’s try and England’s defence held firm in the final stages.

“We were doing what we wanted to do at that stage. We were executing well. A try gives a team a good buzz. It’s something your practice,” O’Connell added.

“We had a few mauls after that which were really good and England were penalised. We were beginning to do things that we talked about in the dressing room really well.

“When we had that pressure after half-time, we needed to maintain it and keep our foot on the throttle but we didn’t do that. It was our own inaccuracy that led to that.”

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