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Highlights on Off The Ball


'We can't use that as an excuse' | Cronin blames ill-discipline for Japan defeat

Sean Cronin pulled no punches about where Ireland failed to deliver after succumbing to an unlike...

Sean Cronin pulled no punches about where Ireland failed to deliver after succumbing to an unlikely defeat against the host nation.

Japan were superb and put on a dazzling display for the home fans but Joe Schmidt’s side were lacking in a number of key areas.

The hooker was frank and honest when speaking to Off The Ball on exactly where his side came up short in the disappointing defeat.

“Discipline was a big issue. We gave away far too many penalties. Something that we pride ourselves on. We gave them access to the game.

“They put in a great performance today, you can’t take anything away from them. We turned the ball over at key times on their line.

“Like I said, a couple of knock-ons in crucial areas which turned the ball over. Which was on the back of them putting us under pressure,” Cronin said.

Ireland were heavily favoured to win the Pool A clash but were run ragged by a Japan side that looked much fitter on the day.

The Leinster player insisted that Ireland did not underestimate the Brave Blossoms ahead of the game.

“We’d done tonnes of analysis on them. We saw four years ago what they did to South Africa. So all credit to them. I thought they were really, really good.

“There was a fantastic atmosphere from both sets of fans. So fair play to them. I think they thoroughly deserved their win,” Cronin commented.

The conditions were hot and humid in Japan but the Leinster player refused to blame the weather on Ireland’s sub-par performance, saying they were well prepared.

“We anticipated that it would probably be a bit hotter and more humid. I think it was around 60%, I think it was supposed to be higher.

“Again, we can’t use that as an excuse. We’d prepped and trained in savage heat on Thursday. It’s tough. It’s tough for them and it’s tough for us so we can’t use that as an excuse,” Cronin explained.

Ireland will have to put the disappointment behind them as they have little time to reflect before they are back out on the pitch.

They face Russia next in Kobe Misaki Stadium at 11.15am Irish time on Thursday, October 3rd as Ireland look to get their World Cup back on track.


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Ireland Japan RWC Sean Cronin