Murray praises Sexton return

Date published: February 25 2017

Conor Murray credited the way his Ireland half-back partner Johnny Sexton smoothly returned to Test rugby after a dominant display against France.

Murray and Sexton’s kicking game played a vital role in the second half as Ireland kept France pinned in their own half and ground out a tough 19-9 win in Dublin.

Ireland didn’t take all of their possible chances but in the end they created enough of a margin to keep France at bay in a tense second half.

“Johnny has been in camp with us all through the campaign so far and he slotted in really well,” Murray told the Six Nations website.

“That 70 minutes today will stand him in good stead for the next few weeks which is going to be really tough against the Welsh and English.

“The forwards laid the platform, the conditions were really tough so we needed good field position and we managed to get that at times.

“To get in those positions and not convert is a little bit frustrating but a win against the French is always a good one.”

Ireland’s victory keeps their Six Nations title hopes alive, despite their Round 1 defeat to Scotland, and Murray acknowledged that anything less than a win on Saturday would have been a disaster.

“A win and nothing less would do for us today,” he added.

“We have managed to do that, so we have a week off now to look at Wales and we are still in the fight.”