“You can’t give them belief. They’re a passionate team, if you give them belief, they will come after you so it’s about looking after ourselves as well this week.”

Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

In a competition as short as the Six Nations, the margin for error has already disappeared for Ireland. They’ve backed themselves into a corner and now it’s time to fight their way out.

“It is a bit of pressure but we can take positives from it, if we had scored one more try and won we would have been on the other side.

“Look, we’ll go to Rome with a lot of confidence, even though we lost, because we know it was a lot of our own mistakes and we can fix them.

“The competition is massive. Teams are going to win and teams are going to lose. There’s going to be bonus points and there isn’t so I suppose we’ll wait and see until the French week and after that we’ll start worrying about the table then.”

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