Rugby Digest: Victory eludes Irish in France
Kearney, brilliant again against the French on Sunday, wants Ireland to prove their pedigree against the Scots.
“We’re a good team and we know what we can achieve,” said the Leinster full-back. “On our day we can muscle up with any side in the game and we did that against France, but the margins are so small.
“Maybe we’re lacking that one or two per cent of a killer instinct. These games are decided by tiny margins. If we develop just another 1% of a killer instinct, we can close these games out.”
The Louth born Ireland star is also adamant that self-pity will do his team no good ahead of the Scottish match.
“You need to be an 80-minute team to win games and Scotland will pose a massive threat on Saturday,” he added.
“They’re a good team and like ourselves they’ve had a couple of unlucky games. It will be a massive match. It won’t be difficult to pick ourselves up because you can’t afford to be like that.
“We’re lucky to be back in Dublin in front of our own fans. We need to get a win.’’
IRELAND coach Declan Kidney has been hit with a double whammy ahead of Saturday’s clash with Scotland at the Aviva Stadium.
Captain Paul O’Connell and scrum-half Conor Murray have both been ruled out of Ireland’s remaining Six Nations game.
O’Connell faces up to six weeks on the sidelines with a knee ligament injury and is now a doubt for Munster’s big Heineken Cup quarterfinal against Ulster at the start of April.
The big Limerick man played all 80 minutes against France on Sunday but damaged the knee with the full extent of the injury confirmed after a scan in Dublin on Monday.
Murray, who was stretchered off in Paris, is out for up to four weeks after also damaging a knee in the French game.
Eoin Reddan and Declan Ryan will come into the team to play Scotland with Tomas O’Leary and Mike McCarthy added to the squad ahead of Wednesday’s team announcement.
Kidney, annoyed by the penalty count in Paris on Sunday, has paid tribute to his players for their efforts against the French.
He said, “We did not go to Paris to draw, we went there to win and to represent the people of Ireland in the best way possible.
“That is why I am immensely proud of the boys. I think that we went at it hard but we could not get that win we were looking for.”
THREE of the four Irish provinces won Celtic League games at the weekend. Munster beat the Dragons 24-14 in Wales, Leinster won 22-6 away to Aironi and Ulster were 38-16 winners at home to Edinburgh. Connacht went down 38-10 at the Scarlets.
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