Ireland coach, Declan Kidney, said the Six Nations Championship was a long way from being over in spite of a 12-6 reverse at home to England.
The Irish certainly didn’t have the look of championship material about them as their Grand Slam hopes nose dived with a lack lustre display in a physical battle in the Aviva Stadium - eventually losing 12-6.
Owen Farrell kicked four penalties from six to give the English a deserved win in the end, with replacement outhalf Ronan O’Gara, replying with two from three for the men in Green.
England nudged ahead after the second weekend of fixtures in this year’s competition were completed in Dublin, two points ahead of Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Italy.
Disappointed by both the performance and the result, Kidney remained defiant insisting the Championship was far from over.
“We still have plenty to play for in the competition. Yes, we are disappointed with ourselves today, but France have to come to London and England still have to go to Wales. We have the French here. So this championship is a long way from being over.
“We just have to go about our business in the three matches we have left and see where we end up.
“When we get out game right we will be in a good position. We were just not on the money today.”
Kidney added: “The game was just built on pressure. England to be fair to them put us under pressure and took their chances when they came their way and we did not.
“Other than one lineout close to our line we were never in any danger of conceding a try and when we were in their half we coughed up a couple of balls too easily and let them out.
“They were able to pick up six points to give them that cushion. In the third quarter we had managed to get our way back into it, our contestables were that little bit better.
“We got ourselves back in at six all, then that is when Test rugby kicks in, the next few minutes we conceded penalties and they got their six point lead back again fairly handily.”
After what was a frustrating first half for the Irish, they seemed more organised in the second and began to put the English under some pressure, but they were still unable to get over the whitewash.
Kidney said: “I have always said that once we get ourselves right we always be in a good place against anybody. And at one stage we were back in there at 6-6.
“But if we do the sort of turnovers that we did today, then it is the damage that we do ourselves and that is the thing we continually need to work on.