Jump to main content
Sexton impressed by Ireland’s character in win over Scotland

Sexton impressed by Ireland’s character in win over Scotland

Ireland Sexton

Ireland skipper Johnny Sexton believes his side demonstrated their character to bounce back from an early deficit against Scotland to clinch third place in the inaugural Autumn Nations Cup.

Ireland trailed 6-0 early on at the Aviva Stadium and looked to be heading into half-time with a deficit but Keith Earls’ try just before the break gave them an 11-9 lead.

From there, they never looked back as a try from Cian Healy and a second from Earls helped them to a 31-16 victory.

Sexton kicked ten points from the tee and although he was brought off in the second half with a dead leg, the fly-half was pleased by the resilience shown in Dublin.

“That’s international rugby,” Sexton told RTE Sport. “You can’t always dominate for 80 minutes – sometimes you have to hang in there and sometimes you have to roll with the punches. I think we did that brilliantly.

“At 6-0 down, the way we wanted to start the game didn’t happen. But that showed character, that showed balls from the boys to bounce back and to dominate for a large part of the next 60 minutes.

“In the first 20, they had the upper hand but it’s Test match rugby – you don’t get it all your own way, all the time.”

Ireland’s third place in the Autumn Nations Cup matches their performance in the 2020 Guinness Six Nations – where they missed out on the title on the final day.

Google Ad – 300×250

Andy Farrell’s first year as head coach has generally been a positive one and Sexton reflected on a 2020 that shows the team are heading in the right direction.

“We feel like we aren’t at the top table yet – we haven’t been able to win away from home against big teams like France and England,” he added.

“The performances haven’t been great for a full 80 minutes – last week [against Georgia] was a good example where we had a good 40 minutes and then took our foot off the gas in the second half, which wasn’t good enough and we were told that.

“But we back our coaches, we think they’re doing an outstanding job – it’s very different to the previous regime and takes a bit of getting used to.

“There’s still a way to go but we’re happy with our progress and this game showed that.”


Previous Story Galthie makes six changes for France ahead of Autumn Nations Cup Final
Next Story Hogg rues missed opportunities after Scotland defeat

More News

Sexton impressed by Ireland’s character in win over Scotland

Schmidt named New Zealand attack coach

20 hours ago
Thomas Gallo Rugby Championship

Talking points as New Zealand and Argentina bounce back in...

14th Aug 2022
Sexton impressed by Ireland’s character in win over Scotland

Storming South Africa look to compound All Blacks’ misery in...

11th Aug 2022