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Best laments scrum sloppiness
08 Feb 2016 09:09
Ireland captain Rory Best admitted his side paid the price for sloppiness at crucial times as they failed to kill off Wales in an enthralling Aviva Stadium draw.
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Conor Murray's try and the boot of Johnny Sexton had Ireland 13-0 up and in control after an opening half-hour loaded with intensity and aggression.
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However Warren Gatland's side hauled themselves back into the contest, as Taulupe Faletau crossed over and Rhy Prioestland nailed three penalties and a conversion to turn the game on its head.
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Sexton held his nerve off the tee in the closing stages to snatch a draw, but Best was left with mixed emotions at the final whistle, lamenting sloppiness in the scrum in particular.
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“I think in the end a draw is a fair result," the Ulster hooker told RTÉ Sport. "We thought that we had good periods of dominance and I’m sure felt they had the same.
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“When we look back [at how Ireland performed in the scrum] we’ll be disappointed with the first half. They got their try from it.
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"We gave them a bit of access in there. When you’re a t home against a big team like Wales you don’t want to give them access in any areas, especially in the setpiece. But again I have to give the boys credit, I think we got that sorted out in the second half.
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"To be behind for the first time with six or seven minutes to go, to show the character to come back to get the draw and then put ourselves back into their half in a position to try and get something late on shows a lot of character. It’s a funny old result a draw, no one’s overly happy with it.
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“We scored one try from attacking their 22, we got a penalty or two, but in that second half there was a few too many occasions we came away with nothing there.
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“They’re a tough side to break down. We’d like to think we’re a tough side to break down. That’s probably why we ended up with a draw."
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Ireland head to Paris next weekend needing a win to keep hopes of a third Six Nations champ[ionship in a row, and Best insisted they will now focus on the positives of Sunday's dramatic opening draw.
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“We know we have a lot of confidence in the squad. Everyone seems to have focused on the people who are missing but we focused all week on the chances it gives people and the freshness it gives.
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"You look at CJ [Stander] coming in, Tommy O’Donnell, Trimby [Andrew Trimble] coming back from a long-term injury. We try to reflect on the positives and try to move forward and better ourselves. You play the hand you’re dealt."
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