Team captain Brian O’Driscoll was quick to admit that Ireland played second fiddle to France for much of Friday night’s crunch World Cup Pool D clash at the Stade de France.
O’Driscoll conceded his side “didn’t do enough with the ball” as the French powered to a 25-3 victory which has them back on track to make the quarter-finals and leaves Ireland contemplating an early exit from the tournament.
“We came across a very organised French defence. We knew we would need a class performance from 1 to 15 and that didn’t quite happen,” O’Driscoll said.
“There wasn’t enough of the performance we’d been talking about. When we had the ball we didn’t do enough with it. The scoreline doesn’t lie. France kept the scoreboard ticking over and it was a real sucker punch when they got their (first) try.”
Admitting that his side’s discipline had let them down at times during the game, O’Driscoll added: “If you don’t play out of your skin against France, you come off second best. It’s very disappointing and we’re going to need a massive result against Argentina. I don’t know what the permutations are, but we’ll think about that tomorrow (Saturday).
“For the moment, we’re just disappointed we didn’t put in the performance that we’d been talking about all week.
“We have got to go out to win it and play a lot better than that. It’s a big ask but stranger things have happened. You don’t ever lose faith in what you’re capable of, but so far we haven’t produced that.”