We must lift ourselves – O’Connell

Date published: March 15 2015

Ireland captain Paul O'Connell wants his team-mates to lift themselves for their final push for Six Nations glory against Scotland next weekend.

A tough defeat against Wales saw the Irish throw everything at Wales' line but ultimately come up short, as they went down 23-16 at the Millennium Stadium.

However, time to wonder what might have been must now be put to one side according to second-row O'Connell, whose side now travel to Murrayfield.

"Guys are very disappointed but it's not up to Joe or me or anyone to lift anyone else – it's up to individuals to lift themselves. We've another chance to play for Ireland next week, a chance at a Championship," he told Irish Rugby.

"We'll look at this game obviously, with a view to helping us next week and we will get into preparation mode for Scotland. I don't think there is going to be any difficulty in lifting ourselves (for Murrayfield). One thing about losing is that you just want to get out there and play again and I'm sure that's the way the boys will be when they wake up tomorrow."

Ireland racked up 32 phases near the Welsh line but the hosts stood firm, with O'Connell praising how the men in red's spirit.

"We lost a few balls and that was disappointing. They defended really well and got Luke Charteris up at the front (of the lineout) and nicked a few off us. They did to us what we did to England two weeks ago," he added.

"It's just a really disappointing place to lose the ball. To lose the ball then to give away a penalty to allow them to clear their lines was disappointing, and a big momentum changer."

O'Connell continued: "Wales are an excellent defensive side. Obviously they had a bit of momentum coming into the game having beaten France in Paris two weeks ago. They probably learned a lot from that first game against England, learned a lot about themselves and really improved.

"They were at home. We had beaten England at home two weeks ago and they were really set for that defensive effort. When you get into their 22 and have a crack and you defend like they did, it is a big lift for them. Unfortunately when they got into our 22 and had a crack, they got over the line (with Scott Williams' try)."