Ireland’s pack leader Paul O’Connell takes us through the aftermath of last week’s RBS 6 Nations loss to Scotland at Croke Park, and switching focus to Munster’s big upcoming games against Leinster and Northampton Saints.
Last Saturday night was definitely a low point, everyone was hugely disappointed at the outcome of our last game at Croke Park.
Unfortunately sport is occasionally like that and you have to be able to deal with those setbacks no matter how painful. It is something that will stay with us as players though. No one wanted to end our time there in that fashion.
You rarely play close to a perfect game as a team in terms of everything going according to plan. There will be days when the set pieces will go well, passes will stick, opportunities will be taken ruthlessly and you won’t fall foul of the referee.
You can manage if one or two of these things don’t pan out as well as you might like, but any more than that and you are skating on thin ice.
We struggled in the lineout and scrum, passes were put to ground and we didn’t manage to keep on the right side of referee Jonathan Kaplan. The net effect was a defeat.
I managed a few pints that night with the lads but it was a sombre occasion.
The following day you have to be able to put it aside and move on when you return to your province. It can be difficult because the disappointment is still acute but you can’t dwell on things, feeling sorry for yourself.
I caught up with some friends at home and managed to finish ‘The Wire’ on DVD, a series that had absolutely captivated me. I’ll definitely have more free time now.
We had a Munster senior players’ meeting in Cork on the Wednesday to look at new plays and some old ones that might be applied over the coming weeks.
I wasn’t involved this week for the Glasgow game, outside of doing a little training on my own. We have a couple of big matches coming up (against Leinster and Northampton Saints) and that’s got to be the focus.