Lancaster: ‘Let’s do it again’

Date published: February 28 2015

England head coach Stuart Lancaster has called on his squad to match the quality of their second-half performance from Cardiff this weekend.

Highlighting the similarities between travelling to Cardiff and Dublin, two tough venues, Lancaster has called on his players to deliver once again.

"Dublin is similar to Cardiff. History tells you it's a very difficult place to go and win," said Lancaster.

"Sometimes when you're playing against Irish teams you feel like you're playing against 16 or 17 because of the energy that they bring.

"People like Paul O'Connell, who's an inspirational leader and captain, will be at his best. It will be as difficult a game as we've had in a long time.

"It would be nice to repeat what we did in Cardiff, especially the second half. One of the keys to that night was that we had a strong sense of belief we could win there, but the players still needed to deliver and they did that.

"We need to have the same sense of belief, which we do, going into Sunday, but ultimately it will come down to the 80 minutes.

"Belief has to be built on some sort of foundation and the foundations laid in the last two weeks with wins against Wales and Italy have been excellent.

"That's why it's such a fascinating game because Ireland have been in the same position. I'd be very surprised if either team weren't ready for this game.

"The margins between the teams will be very small. It will be decided on key moments. It could be discipline, a defensive error or a moment of brilliance that decides it, but it will be tight."

England have prepared thoroughly for Ireland's aerial kicking game after Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton controlled that area of the game in their recent win over France.

"You've got to make sure you get up in the air and challenge for the ball, but within that there is an art to doing it and you've got to practice it," added Lancaster.

"I can assure you we've done plenty of it in the last two weeks because we know it's coming. But to portray Ireland as a side who always kicks the ball would be wrong.

"Both sides will be kicking the ball – we'll be doing the same to their back three – so it's the same for both teams."