Thursday, 3 October 2019

Andy Farrell: Ireland must benefit from Japan set-back like England handled turmoil in 2007 World Cup

Ireland coach Andy Farrell believes his experience of England’s World Cup “turmoil” in 2007 can be used to Ireland’s advantage as they seek to bounce back from their shock defeat to Japan.

Defence coach Farrell, who will take over the head coach role from Joe Schmidt after the World Cup, says Ireland’s performance in their 19-12 defeat to Japan in Shizuoka “wasn’t good enough”, but says the tournament has a history of sides who have profitably adapted to early disappointments.

“You can use a set-back in the right manner,” said Farrell, who in 2007 was part of Brian Ashton’s squad during England’s bumpy campaign in France. The team suffered a 36-0 thrashing in the group stage by eventual winners South Africa.

“In 2007 I was part of the England squad that got a thrashing off South Africa and there was a bit of turmoil in that camp, and we managed to get to the final. And there was a debatable (Mark Cueto) try in the final that was disallowed.

“In 2011, France seemed to be in disarray throughout that competition and there’s a debate over whether they should have won that final.

“So, you can use these set-backs to your advantage. They’re not ideal but you can use them to your advantage.”

Farrell said the inquest since the loss to Japan on Saturday had been extensive. Ireland play Russia in Pool A on Thursday.

“The performance against Japan wasn’t good enough,” he said. “There was a lot of disappointment within the camp. We’ve had a good few meetings since then.

“After a couple of days of understanding why we lost, we’re in good spirits, back on track and ready to make a point.

“The feeling in the camp is one of excitement and wanting to put things right on Thursday night. It can’t come quick enough.

“It wouldn’t matter who we were playing this week – Russia or New Zealand. We need to get back on the horse.”

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