D'Arcy: Ireland must be more critical
February 28, 2011
Gordon D'Arcy has called for Ireland to be more self-critical © Getty Images
Gordon D'Arcy has insisted that Ireland only have themselves to blame after indiscipline almost cost them victory in Sunday's Six Nations clash with Scotland at Murrayfield.
The visitors came out on the wrong end of a 13-4 penalty count after frequently angering referee Nigel Owens at the breakdown, with Chris Paterson and Dan Parks kicking 18 points between them to leave Scotland in with a shout at the death despite Ireland having pounced for three tries.
"It's a little bit disappointing the game turned out the way it did because we scored three tries to nil, but penalties kept them in it," D'Arcy said. "You have six minutes of build-up play progressing nicely into their 22, then one penalty undoes all that positive play.
"You get angry with yourself because you're undoing all your good work in a moment with silly penalties. We can't make excuses for giving away penalties, we've got to be harder on ourselves.
"It's been hard to get the flow of the breakdown because Scotland went completely differently to the previous two games. You like to have consistency, but we won't hide behind that because you must be able to adapt to referees on the day.
"The best teams do that and nobody in the Irish camp will be complaining too much about the decisions. We're the architects of our own penalties. We do research on the referees and know what he likes and doesn't like.
"Everyone playing against Scotland has had Nigel Owens before. We know what his pet peeves are, what he likes and what he doesn't like. It's nothing new, it's not rocket science. In previous years we were the most disciplined team in the world but scored just one try, yet won by the same margin. Without a shadow of a doubt it's rectifiable.
"Composure was a big thing against Scotland because nobody panicked. When it mattered there were no penalties, no infringements, so that begs the question why did we didn't do that for the other 70 minutes?"
After a narrow win over Italy and disappointing loss to France in Dublin Ireland's Championship hopes are all but gone, but D'Arcy is determined to attack their fixture against Wales on March 12 as leg two of a possible Triple Crown, with England the visitors to Lansdowne Road in the final round of action.
"For us it's about winning two more games and whatever happens, happens. We can't control what other teams do," he said. "Look how dangerous Wales were at times against Italy, but also look how fragile they were when they were attacked.
"Knowing what happens when you attack them will give us impetus. We've shown we can attack. It will all come down to the English game. There's nothing we can do about the Championship, but there's a Triple Crown on the cards. There's also a home record to be reinstated."
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