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Italy v Ireland Six Nations: We will take out our hurt on the Italians, warns Robbie Henshaw

Ace Henshaw admits frustration is palpable after loss to Scots but is backing Irish to thrive under pressure

By Jonathan Bradley

Ireland's Robbie Henshaw admitted that the review of Saturday's defeat to Scotland was something of a video nasty. Head coach Joe Schmidt is famed for his forensic analysis of the tape come Monday morning but, with so much to ponder, Henshaw revealed the former Leinster supremo began the process a day early in the team's Carton House base.

"We had a group review (Sunday) night and an individual one (Monday) morning. It was very frustrating and we're looking forward to putting it right this weekend," said the Athlone native.

"It comes down to how we started, we felt flat as a group in the game.

"We gave them time and space on the ball and then they punished us in the wider channels.

"Our spacing was narrow and when we got it spot on, they didn't get a chance after we fixed it.

"If we'd started the first half the way we did the second, the result would have been different.

"We were sloppy with the ball in certain areas on their line, we were undisciplined at times. We only have ourselves to blame."

Like many of his colleagues, Henshaw was puzzled as to why a team that came into the Championship with such confidence after their performances in November started in such a sluggish fashion.

"I'm not sure why we were flat," he said. "Perhaps it was nerves with the step-up.

"It's hard to put our finger on it.

"When we had the ball, we showed what we could do when we were flat to the line and attacking them.

"There is frustration but a massive eagerness to get out this weekend and right the wrongs.

"We're looking forward to getting back out in training.

"It's up in the air in terms of selection, the management will pick that. We need to do our business in training."

Needing to get their Six Nations campaign back on track, if Ireland could pick any opposition in the tournament to face next it would no doubt be Italy, and Henshaw believes Ireland are still capable of winning the Championship if they get things right in the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday (2.25pm kick-off).

"Our main focus is performance, taking one game at a time," he said. "People are talking about bonus points this weekend, we just need to get the win.

"There is confidence we can still win the Championship based on what we did in November. This is an incredible group and we know we can still win it.

"There is a lot more pressure on us now, we have to win the game and chase bonus points.

"So there is more pressure on us and the squad may not be used to it but hopefully it can get the best out of us."

Even before the exacting video review, full-back Rob Kearney said the defeat to Scotland had been a "massive wake-up call".

Ireland hadn't lost their opening Championship game since a reverse to Wales in 2012.

Kearney said: "The first one is always the toughest game and if you lose it, it always makes the rest of the Championship tough and nerve-wracking. You can't afford to lose another one, so yeah, it is tough.

"We have had a massive wake-up call now.

"We have to go to Italy and put in a proper performance."

Although they led 7-3 at half-time, Conor O'Shea's men also opened their own campaign with a defeat, losing to Wales in Rome on Sunday

Kearney, however, believes the perennial underdogs are making strides under one of his predecessors in the Ireland 15 jersey.

"They are certainly going quite well," said the Louth man.

"The win they got against South Africa had been brewing up for a long time. They just couldn't close out some big games but they are tough to play at home."

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