Autumn Nations Series: Andy Farrell frustrated with Ireland’s ‘underwhelming’ Fiji win

 Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell was disappointed with aspects of his team’s performance despite winning 35-17 against Fiji on Saturday.

Farrell described the victory as “pretty underwhelming” as he thought his team was not ruthless enough and made soft errors during the game.

Not clinical enough

The head coach was pleased for his three debutants and stand-in skipper Tadhg Furlong but claimed his side lost their flow on attack.

“Any Test match win should be celebrated, especially when you’ve got three lads making their debuts and Tadhg captaining the side for the first time,” said Farrell.

“But as far as the performance is concerned, pretty underwhelming. When you look back and analyse a performance like that, you will get plenty of learnings out of it.

“But for Fiji being down to 13 men, with a red card and a couple of yellow cards and the penalty count being 14-10 in our favour, we should have been a lot more clinical than we were and I think that’s the moral of the story.

“We got into their 22 time and time again – and, yes because of illegalities and the stop-start nature, we lost our flow. But we weren’t clinical enough by any stretch of the imagination.

“Our start wasn’t the best and fast forward to the last play of the game, us kicking the ball out against 14 men with a scrum ready to play when the game’s already won probably sums the game up.”

Ireland suffered several injuries during the clash as Joey Carbery, Jimmy O’Brien and Robbie Henshaw were all forced off the field.

Farrell is optimistic that Henshaw’s injury was not too severe, whilst the other two players will go through head injury protocols.

“He doesn’t feel like anything was too serious,” said Farrell.

“He (Henshaw) felt like he came off in time to make sure that he’s not done any more damage. We will just see how it is tomorrow.

“Joey and Jimmy will obviously go through the protocols but they seem fine in themselves in the dressing room.”

Calls for consistency in referee decisions

Meanwhile, Fiji head coach Vern Cotter questioned the sending off of Albert Tuisue and feels referee inconsistencies in the game need to be addressed.

“Was there foul play? I don’t know but there’s a meeting after these games about the state of the game and people in rugby need to sit down and talk about it and what’s best,” Cotter said.

“At the moment it’s tough, yeah.”

Cotter was disappointed to be down to 13 men and was ultimately disappointed with his side’s performance on the day.

“Being down to 13 in international rugby is tough, especially when you’re playing the top team in the world,” he said.

“We would have liked to have done a lot better, really we’re disappointed with the score, we’ve got high expectations and high standards.”

READ MORE: Autumn Nations Series: Wayne Pivac praises Wales for bounce back win against Argentina

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