Conor Murray says that the scars from Ireland’s record defeat to England will take time to heal, as Joe Schmidt’s squad prepare for their final two warm-up games against Wales before the World Cup.
A disappointing year for Ireland hit another low as England ran in eight tries in a 57-15 win at Twickenham, and despite the fact the game was only a warm-up fixture, with the World Cup inching closer Murray admitted the manner of the defeat hit the squad hard.
“You wear it for a long time, don’t you?,” said Murray.
“That was our record defeat. It was a really tough week. Very honest couple of days in the review room trying to iron out the mistakes. It was a really tough week to be honest.
“We did a great eight-week block of preseason and we were feeling really good but for reasons we have looked at, for reasons that are fixable, for that amount of things to go wrong and look flat and look tired was concerning but not to the point that we can’t fix it.
“It’s not an excuse but it was a lot of lads first game in. Lots of lads looked fatigued. That’s where that excuse ends.
Lots of uncharacteristic errors. Straight up missed tackles. Itoje walked in nearly untouched (for his try). Cockasinga for another one.
“The hookers, the callers, the jumpers are working really hard to fix that. That’s the beauty of having a game this week but you wear that for a long time. That was embarrassing.”
Murray was forced off for a HIA after 27 minutes in Twickenham, returning to action for a short time before being substituted at half-time.
Having passed all his HIA tests, the scrum-half confirmed he has suffered no setbacks and is fully fit.
He is not expected to play any part in Cardiff this weekend, which was always the plan as Schmidt rotates his squad ahead of their World Cup opener against Scotland on September 22.
“I'm good, yeah. Got a bit of a scare to be honest. Just got my head on the wrong side of a tackle,” he said.
“That’s just natural in my head and I presume anyone who gets a bang between now and when the plane sets off is going to be worried about it because it’s such a big thing.
“You’re kind of more aware, you’re more motivated so to have a bit of a scare, that might… thankfully not but when you do get a bang you probably overthink it a little bit. So that was the case.
“I trained Monday, Tuesday so all is well.”