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Friday 17 August 2018

Healy is keeping faith in tactics

Irish loose-head prop Cian Healy has insisted that Ireland will retain faith in their tactics despite a series of shoddy displays from their misfiring backline.

The Irish team believe the bold, new attacking gameplan, introduced in November, offers the best hope of being competitive against top sides, despite Sunday's agonising loss to France.

"I don't know if it's not clicking," he countered. "It's a work in progress. It's something we're trying to nail down to be a permanent factor in this squad. It's just something we need to be patient at, becoming used to what we're trying to do. And we'll get there soon enough.



Expansive

"We have different types of play. We have the big expansive game to get us to the scoring zone and then it's about out-muscling teams and trying to beat them up to get over the line.

"And then if that doesn't work, and you're sucked in, you can throw it out to the backs and they can go over with the talent in that backline.

"It was tough to go so close (against France). The amount of times games like that have gone Ireland's way, it was bound to go against us once.

"We just have to take the positives out if it heading into the next game.

"Things like the penalty count and stuff are what we need to work on. We said last week that our handling was bad and that our scrummaging needed work.

"I suppose things like the penalties did let us down and that's an area we need to seriously look at."

His colleague in the pack, number eight Jamie Heaslip (pictured), backs up Healy's view as he believes Ireland are on the brink of producing something special.

Heaslip insists they are tantalisingly close to seeing their endeavour rewarded with success.

"It's always the same against France, I don't think there's much between us," he said.

"We have a very good team which is on the cusp of playing its best rugby since I've been involved. There's no lack of belief or confidence in the squad.

"We have an exceptionally good group of players here in Ireland. One of the main reasons for me staying around is that we're on the verge of doing something great and playing some unbelievable rugby.

"There's no question of us losing faith in our style because we're still scoring tries."

Ireland were left stricken by the realisation they had allowed a superb opportunity to register a rare victory over France slip through their fingertips. Tries from Fergus McFadden, Tomás O'Leary and Heaslip failed to prevent Les Bleus from setting up a momentous showdown with England, the Six Nations' only other unbeaten side, at Twickenham.



Frustrating

Ireland head to Edinburgh on Sunday week knowing they are now unlikely to challenge for the title, but convincedthey are in reasonable health. We scored three tries to one but still lost the game. It was frustrating. The penalties and turnovers hurt us," said Heaslip. We played some very good rugby and there are lot of positives.

"We created chances and caused problems with the ball.

"But the negatives are that when you score three tries to one you usually win the game.

"We have a very good defensive system and I have faith in it."

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