/ Six Nations 2016

Cian Healy confident pieces ready to fall into place for Ireland

Updated: Tuesday, 08 Mar 2016 18:46 | Comments

Cian Healy: 'Hopefully we can put together everything we've been working on for ourselves and for the supporters.'
Cian Healy: 'Hopefully we can put together everything we've been working on for ourselves and for the supporters.'

Cian Healy is confident Ireland can use the bubbling frustration within the camp to finally notch a first RBS 6 Nations victory against Italy in Dublin on Saturday.

It's been a tale of ifs and buts for Joe Schmidt's men in a title defence that has failed to catch fire, with defeats to France in Paris and the English in Twickenham compounding the bittersweet nature of the opening draw with Wales.

Healy's campaign has been truncated due to a hamstring injury - he returned in the defeat to England - but the Leinster prop is confident Ireland's intense determination to iron out their mistakes will reap its rewards when the Azzurri visit the Aviva Stadium.

"[A first win] is something we're very close to, we've just fallen off in the last few phases of play in what we've been trying to put together so far," Healy told RTÉ Sport.

"There can be frustration creeping in but that’s part of it, managing and channelling that frustration into a positive means of how we want to go about training. If there wasn’t something like that there that would be a worrying aspect.

"Players aren't happy when we’re not putting stuff together right and we’re not playing well. It shows where your level of pride is. There’s something wrong if you’re not performing well and it’s not bothering you."

"Players aren't happy when we're not putting stuff together right."

Ireland began the tournament eyeing an unprecedented third Six Nations championship on the bounce but those ambitions have faded with every passing match, as a mixture of bad luck, indecision and a lack of quality has seen points slip away.

Healy is prepared for another tight battle this weekend, but insists Ireland will be ready for everything the Italians throw at them.

"You've seen a lot of it in the last couple of seasons; anything we've lost has been usually within a try," he said.

"That’s the fine margins. It’s been on our side before when winning championships… so hopefully we can put together everything we've been working on for ourselves and for the supporters.

"Italy are putting a lot of clever back play together and starting to stretch teams out wide. It's something we work on, we work on our defence to not get caught too short on our defensive line.

"We work hard on our set piece and it is an area we pride ourselves on. It’s pretty much the same for [Italy], they’re historically a strong scrummaging pack and even with [Martin] Castrogiovanni out that doesn't really change anything. It's just as strong a scrum. We'll be ready for it."

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