Off The Ball's Eoin Sheahan reports live from Japan...
Jonathan Sexton says Ireland’s discipline was sub-par in Saturday's defeat to Japan and that questions need to be asked within the camp.
Sexton was speaking at the Ireland team hotel in Kobe, which is where the side are based for their Rugby World Cup encounter against Russia.
“Very frustrating,” is how the outhalf responded when asked to sum up his feelings watching the game from the stands.
“Frustrated that I wasn’t on the pitch and I couldn’t help the lads out. Obviously, things didn’t go our way and you want to have things in your control and when you’re sitting in the stands, there’s not much you can do about it.”
“There’s lots of things. We had a look at it this morning. It’s very early to look at things. Normally, we wouldn’t do that straight away but, again, with the five-day turnaround this week, we felt we needed to sit down and talk about a few things.
“It wasn’t one thing. Discipline was obviously a big thing that we don’t normally do... any marginal decision we were wrong side of it, which is fine. We looked at those penalties today and yeah, they can be penalties, so we have to look at ourselves and say ‘that discipline wasn’t good enough.’”
A bad weekend was made worse for Ireland with Jack Conan en route home after his foot injury turned out to be a fracture. Ireland today confirmed that Jordi Murphy is his replacement.
“He gives us great coverage,” said Simon Easterby today, when asked about Murphy.
“He’s been in the squad for a number of years and he’s played in some big games for this team and he can cover every position in the back row which gives us a good deal of flexibility.”
Meanwhile, Chris Farrell has a confirmed concussion and will not recover in time for Thursday. Rob Kearney is set to undergo the HIA 2 test, while Tadhg Furlong was fine after returning to play yesterday.
Robbie Henshaw “ran really well yesterday,” according to Easterby and he says the Ireland team are happy with his progress. It does, however, seem that this Thursday will come too soon for the Leinster man.
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