Eddie Jones says his England players can turn their form around
Eddie Jones says his England players can turn their form around
Ireland will be looking to avoid another ‘Busgate’ against Scotland on Saturday
13 March, 2018, 11:17
The 2007 World Cup in France, quarter-final exits in both the 2011 and 2015 World Cups and even a disappointing Six Nations showing past year which saw Ireland fall to two defeats to Scotland and Wales are a stark and painful reminder to how quickly aspirations and confidence can be derailed.
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"But I think this team has it in them, there is a depth to them both of quality and personality".
Follow Ireland v Scotland on Saturday (KO 2.15pm) via the live blog on RTÉ.ie/Sport and the News Now App, or listen live on RTÉ Radio 1, with commentary from Michael Corcoran and Donal Lenihan.
"Every game is different, every game we've learned something about ourselves; we've addressed it in the meeting room, we've ironed it out in training, and it's got better", he said.
O'Leary is taking nothing for granted however and is wary of the threat that Scotland will present, particularly after their stunning victory over England last time out. What does this tell us?
With Ireland already crowned champions, and Italy sure of the wooden spoon after losing yesterday to Wales 38-14 (their 16th consecutive Six Nations defeat), the main interest in the final weekend of action will be to see who finishes second. The effort, the mental strength and the discipline to post such numbers is remarkable and it's a testament to the players and the coaching staff that they have done this consistently throughout the competition so far. "If he is fit he will come straight back into the team".
"The players constantly churn out "next game, next game" to the media and you have to pay respect to Scotland and not look beyond that if you're a player but the Grand Slam is definitely in the back of your mind".
"Those are the sort of games they have to go and prove themselves in". However, they showed patience, togetherness and accurate implementation of their systems to work their way up the pitch to give Sexton that opportunity - and he duly obliged.
The defence has been a concern on occasions, too.
Jones, who guided England to the Grand Slam in 2016 and then was denied another one a year later when the Irish upset them in Dublin, said the principal hurdle to overcome was the dent to the players' confidence.
The side stands on the brink of winning a Grand Slam and beating their previous longest run of successive wins when they face England at Twickenham.
However, it was Bairstow, striking nine fours and six sixes during a brutal 60-ball knock, who stole the show. The platform for the triumph was laid early when England's bowlers constricted New Zealand's top order.
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