17 Jun, 19:25
Ireland pulled clear of hosts Canada with four tries in the closing half hour as they earned a 40-14 victory at the BMO Stadium on Saturday night. Check out some photos from the Toronto tussle.
"I don't really know why we turned in that performance. Maybe because we had new structures, maybe we were a little over comfortable after the Welsh game because it went so well and maybe we weren't as tuned in as we might have been."
"Personally I don't ever remember feeling so down as I did on the Monday and Tuesday. I didn't actually read the newspapers but I would have presumed there was negative stuff there. My disappointment was to do with myself and nothing to do with what might have been said about me. What was said in the media wouldn't bother me as much as feeling myself that I didn't have a great game for one reason or another. I don't need the papers to tell me when I've had a poor game."
"But then we had the meeting on Wednesday when we watched the video. Now that was something I wasn't looking forward to, I don't think anyone was. But they (management) went about it in a good enough way. There was no finger pointing or this is your fault type of thing. It was a serious meeting, there was no slagging, nobody was in that mood, and it was too serious. As I said heads were down, the meeting had gone on for about an hour before Woody said 'listen, it's in the past, lets learn from our mistakes, it's not doing anyone favours moping around so lets lift the spirits.' We talked about it, trained the following day in Skerries and that helped put the game behind us. There's no point dwelling on it, we have the Scotland game coming up and so we move on. We have to."
"Of course there is an awareness of the criticism that's out there. There's not a lot you can do about it. In general the Irish media are not too bad, there are one or two that seem to have agendas. They seem to wait for players to have a bad game and then jump on them and so I think players can sometimes be treated unfairly and obviously that something you're not going to feel too good about."
"Facing into the Scotland game there is that bit extra pressure because of the performance against England. My first thought isn't that we must win, rather that we must get a good performance first, really go at them all guns blazing. We can't guarantee a win but hopefully we can guarantee a good performance and the win will follow. I realise for myself that there is pressure to perform and that will spur me on. It's going to be tense going into this game but that's just something you have to deal with. Every player at this level has been through situations like this and to get to this level you have to be able to handle it. For me there is some comfort in knowing that I have to perform, that I have to play well and actually I enjoy it more when there is that added pressure."
"Probably the best part of the week so far was when John (Kelly) was selected on the bench. I was absolutely delighted for him. We came into the Munster set up at much the same time, I've always rated him, he a fine player, so very underestimated, it's been a struggle from him because from the time he came into the Munster team he's somebody people didn't pick out or didn't give that much credit to but his consistency has paid off and I'm thrilled for him. Hopefully he can get a run because he deserves it."