Robshaw: We have let it slip again

Published: Monday 2nd March 2015 by The News Editor

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England captain Chris Robshaw lamented the end of another Grand Slam quest after a 19-9 defeat by Ireland dented their RBS 6 Nations title aspirations.

Three successive runners-up finishes sharpened the desire to lift a first piece of major silverware under head coach Stuart Lancaster, but the Irish are now favourites to defend their crown.

It leaves England needing to beat Scotland and France while hoping that Paul O’Connell’s men fall to Wales or Scotland.

“We’re extremely disappointed once again to have let it slip. It’s once again out of our hands. We need a bit of luck now,” Robshaw said.

“We have to put all of our attention into Scotland and see what happens in the last two games. We know it’s out of our control.

“Credit to Ireland – they played well and were pretty smart about how they went about their business. They got the better of us. We were slightly off and they exploited us.”

Lions fly-half Jonathan Sexton plotted England’s downfall, pulling the strings masterfully and decorating his performance with a 14-point haul comprised of four penalties and a conversion.

The knockout blow was landed in the 53rd minute when the superb Conor Murray directed a crossfield kick into the right corner where Robbie Henshaw out jumped Alex Goode to score the game’s only try.

An inquest awaits this week as England’s coaching team seek answers as to why 13 penalties were conceded, including two in the opening eight minutes that enabled the reigning champions to race into an early lead.

“Our biggest disappointment was our discipline,” Robshaw said.

“When Ireland have a serious player like Jonathan Sexton who can nail goals and pin you in the corner, you don’t want to give them any easy opportunities and allow them to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

“I’m not sure why it happened, but it is something that will be addressed throughout the coming week.

“We conceded some penalties due to pressure and some due to our own loss in concentration. I contributed myself as well.

“As a team you aim for under 10 penalties, that’s the benchmark for the 80 minutes. If you do that you’re in a good place. We gave away eight penalties in the first half and that pressure tells.”

Published: Monday 2nd March 2015 by The News Editor

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