Australia v Ireland: Andy Farrell says Irish can channel hurt to keep series alive
|Second Test: Australia v Ireland|
|Date: Saturday, 16 June Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne Kick-off: 11:00 BST|
|Coverage: Text commentary and match report on BBC Sport website|
Ireland can channel the hurt of their first Test defeat by Australia to level the series in Melbourne this weekend, says their defence coach Andy Farrell.
The Grand Slam winners were left “angry” by the 18-9 defeat last Saturday, which ended their 12-match winning run.
“They are walking round like a bear with a sore head,” said Farrell.
“We’ve had a couple of meetings and they understand why, individually and collectively, certain things happened.”
Farrell said the performance of Michael Cheika’s Wallabies side in Brisbane was no surprise as a try in either half from Bernard Foley and David Pocock helped the home side clinch a deserved victory in the opening game of the three-Test series.
“They hit you on the break very well and they play quick, especially at the breakdown. We’ve got things to work on,” said Farrell.
“To keep them to two tries – albeit getting away with a few that were disallowed – wasn’t too bad because Australia are used to scoring tries.
“Having said that, we need to be better at the weekend. There is no doubt about that.”
Henshaw gamble ‘not on the money’
Asked about Robbie Henshaw’s ill-fated charge out of Ireland’s defensive line, which was punished by Foley’s try, Farrell admitted that the centre had been “a bit too trigger happy”.
“We felt it was a gamble that wasn’t quite on the money but we’ll learn from it,” he added.
Ireland’s aerial struggle was also a notable feature of the Brisbane contest as Australian full-back Israel Folau dominated Rob Kearney in the air and Farrell suggested there will be plans afoot to ensure that there is not a repetition in Melbourne.
“Is it a 50/50 when the ball is in the air because he [Folau] is so good there? Probably not, but we’ve got to make sure we’re around for the scraps.
“It was the accuracy of how we got into the air. We let him dominate the space more than we should have and he had it a little bit too much his own way.”
Farrell added that wing Keith Earls’ recovery from a head blow after coming off early in Brisbane is “at this stage all good” as he continues to undergo the normal return to play protocols.
Coach Joe Schmidt looks certain to recall Johnny Sexton at fly-half after Joey Carbery started in the first Test while other Leinster players Dan Leavy, Garry Ringrose, Sean Cronin, Tadhg Furlong, Devin Toner and Cian Healy could also return to the starting line-up.