Ireland head coach Andy Farrell admitted his team were “not good enough” following a laboured 23-10 win over Georgia at the Aviva Stadium.
Looking to bounce back from a demoralising defeat to England last time out, Ireland started brightly and had built up a 20-7 half-time lead thanks to tries from Billy Burns and Hugo Keenan. They also saw a Stuart McCloskey try crossed out for a forward pass while James Ryan felt he was wrongly deemed to have been held up over the line before the half-time break.
However, there was much to concern Farrell after the interval as the hosts struggled to break down a Georgia side ranked 12th in the world, a single Ross Byrne penalty their only score in an error-ridden second-half showing.
And the Ireland head coach admitted there was massive frustration with how his team performed after half-time.
“Not good enough. Certainly in the second 40, it wasn't the standard that we expect of ourselves,” Farrell said.
“Especially playing at home after a first 40 that I thought was decent enough, flowing at times, still obviously things to fix at half-time.
“But you know, the two tries [that were disallowed], one from a forward pass, and I don't know the rules anymore regarding that. We have a touch judge that's telling us it’s a try, and then a referee that says it's not a try. James Ryan's over the line just before half-time, he's got the ball down, so he says.
“So still things to fix, but I thought our game was flowing a little bit in the first half, and then we've come out in the second half and I just thought we didn't have any courage in our own conviction.
“I thought that Georgia thoroughly earned the right to slow our game down by being total menaces at the breakdown, and all credit to them for that, but that's not good enough from us.”
Ireland have just six days to try to rectify those issues as they prepare to host Scotland in their final game of the Autumn Nations Cup, and Farrell must now wait to see who is still standing after a bruising encounter saw the squad's injury issues continue to mount.
“I don’t know where to start really. There’s quite a few. Rob Herring has got a little bit of something that needs a look regarding his rib. Billy (Burns) felt something in his groin in the warm-up. He said he was fine to play, and played a nice first 40 I thought, but he’s nursing a groin injury.
“Conor (Murray) got a bang within the first couple of minutes, a dead leg, so we had to look after him, it seems he’s going to be fine. Obviously Will (Connors) came off with a HIA, it’s a six-day turnaround so we’ll see how that goes. Keith Earls had a back spasm and had to come off as well.
“So yeah, quite a bit of disruption but that’s nothing to do with the second-half performance.”
Scotland will come to Dublin sensing an upset having pushed Ireland hard on their last visit, losing 19-12 in the Six Nations earlier this year.
“I think they’re a big threat,” Farrell continued.
“They’re playing well, they play a nice brand of rugby, and the last time we played them here, it was a difficult match. They played really well that night so I’m sure after watching that second-half performance and taking stock of what happened in the Six Nations, I’m sure they will see this as an opportunity that they might try to take back, so we’ll see what we’re about this week.”