Ireland staying grounded – Murray

Date published: November 19 2014

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Ireland take on Australia on Saturday with third place in the world on the line but Conor Murray insists that won’t be the team’s focus.

Ireland take on Australia on Saturday with third place in the world on the line but Conor Murray insists that won’t be the team’s focus.

Joe Schmidt’s side moved to their highest-ever world ranking last weekend thanks to defeats for England and Australia, combined with their own win over South Africa the previous weekend.

It’s reward for their recent form which saw them win the Six Nations and maintain their good form to start the November Tests.

A loss to Australia would see them drop straight back down the rankings, but Murray insists the main focus will simply on winning the game.

“It’s a good place to be, but that’s all happened and the squad is purely focused on Australia and playing really well,” said Murray.

“Looking at what we did last year, you know, we didn’t show up really, we came off second best in a lot of areas and we do have a lot of things to work on.

“We played well against South Africa, we executed the game plan quite well, but this will be completely different game I’d imagine, it’ll be a challenge but it’s one we’re looking forward to.

“We’re in a good space as a squad, we’re a confident squad but we know if we’re in any way complacent, we saw what happens in how we performed against Australia last year.”

Avoiding complacency should be easy for Ireland, who suffered arguably their worst loss since Schmidt took over when they were hammered 32-15 in Dublin last year. And Murray admits, if Ireland are off their game, they will pay the price.

“It’s purely about this week, it’s the good thing about the squad that we’re fully focused on the job. We’re not falling in love with ourselves, by any means.

“We know when we don’t show up and we lose out on those little margins, we have seen what Australia do, we were well beaten last year.

“We know for us to play well and get results, we have to be really sharp and that’s how it has been in training.”

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