See below for post-match reaction from Ireland’s Paul O’Connell, Peter Stringer, Denis Hickie and Denis Leamy following their 14-10 Pool D victory over Georgia in Bordeaux.
“It was a very tough game. Georgia played the particular game-plan we expected them to play. They lived off scraps and held onto the ball for long phases and put us under a lot of pressure so full credit to them, they were very good.
“Our performance was a bit better (than last week), but, at the same time, we didn’t score the points. They held on to the ball and we just didn’t seem to be able to get our hands on it. It was a bit of a problem last week and it was a problem again this week.
“The way we are playing at the moment, it’s disappointing and we are not a big threat to France the way we are playing. But the way we are playing isn’t our form, it isn’t how we play or who we are. Hopefully, we’ll bring our best game to Paris next week.
“We do believe we can beat them. If we play like that we won’t but if we play to our form and the way we can we certainly can beat them.”
“We’re building in each game and now we’ve two tough Test games under our belt. For whatever reason things haven’t clicked but there is still good confidence in the squad. Guys have the belief that we can still go very far in this competition and once we have that within the squad then we are going on the right track.
“We’ve got an experienced squad. The guys are fully aware of the mistakes we’ve made but we know the capabilities within the squad and the experience we have and we have to try and bring that out because it’s do or die now next week in Paris.
“We’ve always looked at it that we have to win all our games in the group. We set out that target at the start of the competition, so hopefully it won’t come down to bonus points. We’re looking to win all of our group games and that hasn’t changed.”
“I can’t give one answer as to why we’re not clicking at the moment. But there are a few things – we weren’t as precise with the ball as we needed to be. A few times we had them under the cosh but pushed a pass or two. We’re trying to develop our game, and I thought we were better this week than last week. But it is not where we want to be.
“Nobody is more frustrated than us. We want to win the competition. We want to come out of this group. We’re the ones under pressure. We have to accept any criticism.
“From my point of view, I’m always looking over my shoulder. Nobody takes their place for granted. It’s a very competitive squad and the closer the game the closer the calls will be. Everyone will write us off but we know what we have to do and we have a week to do it.”
“We defended very well at times there and it could have gone really wrong for us if they had sneaked a late try, so let’s take the positives out of it. Nobody is getting too downhearted, there’s no bashing of heads against the wall. We’ll pick ourselves up, we’re still in this tournament whether people believe it or not and we can still do something.
“We have to leave this match behind and it’s a winner-takes-all situation now. It will be a typical cup match but we have got a lot of experience in this team and I hope that we use every little bit of that and bounce back from this, but we are going to be underdogs going up there (to Paris to play France).
“It (a first half stamp on a player) was a silly thing to do. I shouldn’t have done it. I just got pulled back while I was in the defensive line and I just lashed out really without even thinking.
“I clipped him on the side of the leg or the foot I think. It was a stupid thing to do. The ref saw it and he didn’t make too much out of it so hopefully that will be it.”