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Murray rues Ireland's slow start

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Conor Murray rues Ireland's slow start in England defeat

Scrum-half Conor Murray acknowledged that Ireland were always fighting a losing battle after making a slow start in their 32-20 home reverse to England.

Ireland won the Six Nations Grand Slam last year, but they began the new campaign in disappointing fashion as Jonny May and Elliot Daly scored early for Eddie Jones’ visitors in Dublin.

Although Cian Healy responded for the favourites, Henry Slade crossed twice in the second half to secure a bonus-point win for England before a John Cooney consolation try.

Murray felt the game was lost early in each period, describing aspects of Ireland’s performance in the opening match as “flat”.

“We started slow,” he told the press after the game.

“We gave up a couple of soft tries and, against a team of England’s quality, you’re always going to be struggling.

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“In the end, we were chasing it and gave up another couple of soft scores. Our start killed us. You can’t come out here and start that slow and expect to win.

“We did steady the ship a little bit and got back into it. At half-time, the chat was good. But then we were a bit flat coming out again, which is not like us.

“It’s very hard to put your finger on it but, against a side like England, you can’t afford to be flat.”

Ireland now faces an away trip to play Scotland at Murrayfield and will play three of their four remaining Tournament games on the road.

“I think it is a great to place to go and try to get a win and get back on track.

“This group¬†has been through good days and bad days and we bounce back well.

“We are going to have to be really tight this week, dust ourselves off and not feel sorry for ourselves. We know we are capable of big performances, we just were a bit off today.

Murray believes the leadership group will drive the team in preparations for Scotland, fuelled by the ‘bitter disappointment’ of the loss to England.

“I think the players’ are going to drive it as much as Joe [Schmidt] and the coaching staff.

“We are bitterly disappointed. We are a group that demands high standards and we didn’t meet that this evening. All credit to England, they were good today and we were off.

“Whatever we have from the coaches, they’ll review the game and give us solutions and things we can work on, but as a playing group, we are going to be honest with ourselves.

“We want to get this back on track.”

Ireland Post-Match Press Conference:

Irish press conference live from Dublin.

Posted by RugbyPass on Saturday, 2 February 2019

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Conor Murray rues Ireland's slow start in England defeat