Murray convinced Ireland will improve

British & Irish Lion Conor Murray insists Ireland will produce an improved performance against France next weekend, despite beating Italy 26-3 in Rome. [more]

Murray convinced Ireland will improve

British & Irish Lion Conor Murray insists Ireland will produce an improved performance against France next weekend, despite beating Italy 26-3 in Rome.

Murray, who played in two Tests during the Lions tour of Australia in 2013, scored Ireland’s first try after 65 minutes before Tommy O’Donnell touched down shortly afterwards.

Before that, the men in green had struggled to break down a dogged Italian team with the boot of Ian Keatley their sole source of points.

Five of Murray’s Lions team-mates on that tour also started for Ireland and a sixth, Sean O’Brien, was set to play his first international match in 14 months but suffered a hamstring injury in the warm-up.

Although they pulled away from the Azzurri in the final quarter, scrum-half Murray admits it was a battle at the Stadio Olimpico and believes they will need to play better when they welcome France to Dublin on Saturday.

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“For the first 50 minutes, they got a line speed against us and managed to kill our attack pretty efficiently,” Murray told RTE.

“But we just had to stick to our guns and eventually we broke them down. The pressure helped us get a little bit of a lead and to not concede at the end was very important as well.

“I suppose there was a bit of inaccuracy on the backs’ part. The forwards were giving us a good platform in the first half and we knocked on a few balls and a few balls went to ground.

“That’s annoying for us as a backline, but the second half we managed to hold on to the ball for longer periods and that pressure eventually told which is satisfying.

“This was our first run out, you know there’s always going to be mistakes and plenty to work on going into next weekend, but we got the win and managed to put a few points on the board which is a good start.”
 

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