Ronan Kelleher has claimed that Ireland are not going to dwell much on their statement win over France in Marseille.
Last weekend, the opening game of the Six Nations saw Ireland beat France 17-38 in one of the most emphatic Irish wins ever.
Tries from Kelleher, Jamison-Gibson Park, Dan Sheehan, Tadhg Beirne, and Calvin Nash mean that Ireland is now favourites to retain the Grand Slam.
The win is one of many that have occurred under Andy Farrell and the coaching team, and it is now becoming part and parcel of his regime. Expectations have been raised, and Kelleher, speaking to the media, claims that the Irish players haven't thought much about the big win in the south of France and only about the next game in Italy.
"We were obviously very happy with how we went, but I suppose we weren't going to rest on it too much. We very much looked at what we needed to fix and then moved on pretty quickly to the challenge we had this weekend. So yeah, there wasn't too much dwelling on it or anything or patting ourselves on the back. It was more about getting ready to go again this weekend," the Leinster hooker said this week.
Ireland's lineout came under fire from fans and pundits during the World Cup, and this was one aspect that went against Ireland in games. However, Ireland's lineout was like chalk and cheese in Marseille.
🗣️ 'I thought we took a step in the right direction there.'
After sorting out their lineout woes from the World Cup, Ronan Kelleher discusses what is different at the set piece now. | ☘️
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During the French game, there was a 100% success rate coming off 13 throws, all 13 of which were "clean," according to Opta stats.
When asked what changed since the World Cup and the French game, Kelleher claimed there were no "major tweaks" but only "small tweaks."
"Yeah, I suppose it's always great to get a couple more tries. I suppose from our perspective, it wasn't really anything major that needed to change, just a few little tweaks. We thought we took a step in the right direction there; it was good. And yeah, obviously, as a forward pack, we were delighted that we managed to get over.
"Like I said, just keep tweaking the small details. For example, in the lineout lift and stuff like that, and in the lineout throw. It's all about, as you said, the timing bit, and it just clicked last weekend. It was good. But yeah, there was no major revamp or anything like that. It was more just keep doing what we're doing, and as I said, just small tweaks to what we were doing."
Ireland will play three home games in the Six Nations now, and their only game will be against England in Twickenham on March 9. Games against Italy, Scotland, and Wales in Dublin make the reality of a second Grand Slam more believable.
Ireland's first home game comes against Italy later today. This will be the first home game Ireland has played since their friendly against England last August.
Kelleher, who came off the bench in the 17-38 French win and scored a try, has admitted it will be nice to play in front of the Irish fans once again.
"Yeah, really looking forward to it, obviously. As you said, over the period of the World Cup, the fans were absolutely amazing. Even last weekend, it was unbelievable. So it'll be great to go out in front of a full stadium and deliver them a performance that they can be happy with and proud of. So yeah, we're all really looking forward to that," he added.
Ireland's game against Italy starts at 3 p.m.
👊 Ronan Kelleher seals the deal for Ireland as they record their highest-ever score against France
A dominant display from the visitors to kick off the tournament 🙌 #GuinnessSixNations pic.twitter.com/cx1gYJUh6Y
— ITV Rugby (@ITVRugby) February 2, 2024