DESPITE coming away with just the second Triple Crown of his long international career, Ireland’s Jonathan Sexton insists there is still more to come from this team.
A hard fought Irish bonus point win over Scotland finished off a positive Six Nations tournament for the boys in green.
The win secured the Triple Crown and provided some silverware after Ireland’s hopes of the championship seemingly slipped away with a loss to France.
The team looks to be in a good place after the tournament with Andy Farrells Irish squad looking to peak for the World Cup in France next year.
For Johnny Sexton personally the tough challenge of the World Cup, with it being his final tournament in international Rugby is at the forefront of his mind. speaking to Irish Rugby about the previous challenges in this tournament he said,
“I don’t think we played our best rugby. Scotland’s defence is probably the best organised defence that we’ve faced. They’ve a lot of guys on the front line, they go hard at the breakdown, At times we didn’t exploit it as well as we could and at other times we showed some great things. Then we gave the ball away a couple of times quite easily.”
“Five metres out from the line a couple of times and kicked it away a couple of times. It’s a good place to be after three bonus point wins in a row, bouncing back from the French game. To do that, I’m very proud of this team and how we’ve done it. It’s a good place to be, because there’s so much more left in us and that’s what we’ve got to keep driving home.”
Making his international debut back in 2009, Sexton earned his 105th Irish cap against Scotland. That left him tied in sixth place on the country’s all-time list, with forwards coach Paul O’Connell (108) the next one in his sights.
Although this was his 13th Six Nations campaign, the Leinster out-half admitted to being quite nervous in the build-up to the final round clash with Scotland. Speaking on the game he said,
“I think it’s because this team means so much to me. Genuinely. I wanted us to have something to show for all our hard work over the last eight weeks.
It’s an incredible environment and it was more for the squad. That was it, I was nervous. I wanted us to play our best. We didn’t quite get there, but we played pretty well at times and what is the most important thing, we showed guts.
“We showed everyone in the stadium what it means for us to play for Ireland. That’s the most important thing.”
Sexton and the rest of the Irish squad will now have to set their sights on their summer targets. Ireland face New Zealand in their scheduled summer tour.
A victory over the All Blacks in this tour would be huge for Ireland’s confidence going to the World Cup next year.
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