Irish need to be calmer against 'cock-a-hoop' Wales, says Farrell

Scotland's fullback Stuart Hogg fumbles the ball on the tryline during the Six Nations international against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, on February 1, 2020.
Scotland's fullback Stuart Hogg fumbles the ball on the tryline during the Six Nations international against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, on February 1, 2020.
Image: PAUL FAITH/AFP

 

Ireland will need cool heads for the visit of Wales in the Six Nations next weekend, said coach Andy Farrell who described the defending champions as being in a "cock-a-hoop" mood.

The 44-year-old Englishman began his tenure as Irish coach on Saturday with a 19-12 victory over Scotland.

However, the Scots spurned several chances to stun the hosts, none more so than when Stuart Hogg dropped the ball crossing the try-line.

Farrell admitted that the Welsh, who routed Italy 42-0 in Cardiff in their opener, are sure to be more clinical.

"The set-piece was a tough old battle so I think we'll get better," said Farrell.

"There were little bits, like off your feet, or trying to offload when it wasn't on.

"The game has always been about doing the right thing, it has always been about decision-making, see more spaces and playing the game how it should be played, what is in front of you.

"Decision-making is a part of that, and we need to get better at that."

Farrell, who moved into the top job from assistant when Joe Schmidt stepped down following last year's World Cup, expects the Welsh to be more willing to throw the ball around under Wayne Pivac than his predecessor Warren Gatland.

"They (Wales) are obviously playing a wider, more expansive game, and we know how the Scarlets have played over the years," he said.

"I saw the game against the Barbarians (Wales won 43-33 last November in Pivac's first game in charge) and if you get a glimpse of that they are dangerous.

"They have got some great players and I am sure they will be cock-a-hoop coming into this week."

Ireland rarely got inside the Scotland 22 even though they scored the one try of the match through Johnny Sexton.

The player who posed most of a threat was young full-back Jordan Larmour.

However, the 22-year-old's love for attacking from anywhere nearly got his side into serious trouble when he stepped into touch inside his own 22.

"He (Larmour) frightened me at times yeah, but that's what he does," said Farrell.

"He actually doesn't know what he's doing with his own feet, does he? I mean, they're crazy, his feet.

"We'll keep analysing his game and keep helping him with his decision-making along the way."

Farrell says there was enough to take out of Saturday's game to be confident that Ireland are moving on from their disappointing World Cup campaign which ended with a 46-14 walloping by the All Blacks in the quarter-finals.

"Yeah, I think they (the players) feel this is a building block," he said.

- AFP

 

 

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