‘Angry’ Irish players eager to make amends, says Murray

CONOR MURRAY SAYS players and coaches alike are frustrated and angry with the way Ireland started the Six Nations Championship.

Italy have been well-warned, Joe Schmidt’s squad are intent on making a statement on the Championship’s second weekend.

“There’s frustration from the coaching staff and the players, and we’re angry with ourselves as well. We all know that, and we want to put that right as a group,” Murray said as he sat in for Schmidt’s team announcement at Carton House.

“The coaches offer us everything in terms of getting ready for the game, but as a group of players it’s our team and we want to put it right.

The head coach let a little smile slip as his scrum-half was asked if the players owed that response to the coaches. Murray didn’t quite agree with the statement, but the response is in the chamber ready to fire none the less.

“If you want to look at it that way. We just look at ourselves and what we can do.

“Personally and collectively as a group of players we were just disappointed in the way we performed because we trained a lot better, and we hope we prepared a lot better and it just didn’t happen for whatever reason. So we are just trying to find those answers, and we just want to get it right this weekend.”

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Standing in their way is an Italy team that has rediscovered their rate of improvement under Conor O’Shea. However, the comeback – though ultimately fruitless – against Scotland continues to fuel plenty of confidence in Ireland that they need only change their attitude and mindset to get back in the winners’ circle.

“We shook ourselves down early in the week and we’ve got to respond really positively this week and do as well as we can in Italy, start much better.

“Like Joe said, the start in Scotland was particularly disappointing. What we did in the second half showed what we can do as a team.

“So it’s not ideal but we’ve another challenge and that’s what we have to look forward to. Looking back isn’t going to doing us too much good.”

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