Brian O’Driscoll fears Ireland will struggle to regain World Cup momentum after defeat by Japan and an error-strewn win over Russia.
While Joe Schmidt’s side managed the bonus point win they needed, clocking up five tries in Kobe this morning, former captain O’Driscoll saw little encouragement in a performance littered with handling errors.
Speaking in his role as an ITV pundit, O’Driscoll said: "It was so frustrating. Eighteen handling errors is nowhere near the numbers you expect from Ireland.
“I know it was a greasy ball, but 18 handling errors is nowhere near what you expect from Ireland with the ball.
“They couldn’t put any phases together. Rarely did they carry the ball ten phases or more, something they’re renowned for doing.
“It looked as though they lacked creativity until a couple of moments at the end.”
Ireland must now secure another bonus point win over Samoa to confirm a quarter-final place, but O’Driscoll fears the squad needed the confidence boost of a better performance against the lowly-ranked Russians.
“I feel quite frustrated by it because it wasn’t a great performance, I don’t know how they’re meant to get the momentum they’re looking for off the back of it.”