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We have to share the blame for defeat, says Ferris

Stephen Ferris isn’t inclined to make excuses, nor is he prone to apportion blame to an individual if he believes there has been collective failure.

In the aftermath of Saturday evening’s Croke Park defeat by Scotland the Irish blindside did not break with what is his convention.

Admitting that Ireland had problems with their line-out — a factor which contributed much to their downfall — the Ulsterman said: “I think there was just a lapse in concentration. I got a call wrong, I think Jamie (Heaslip) got one wrong, there were a couple of skew throws.

“There was just a combination of a lot of things, so you can’t point your finger at any individual. I think collectively, one to eight, we just weren’t on the ball.

“But you have to give Scotland a bit of credit as well; their line-out defence has been very good throughout the championship. Their line-out has been very strong.

“We just have to hold our hands up. We were disappointed with the amount of line-out ball we were unable to get.”

He also conceded that defeat is something the Irish boys now find hard to stomach.

“When you go on the sort of winning streak we’ve been on you kind of expect to win. So when you lose it’s pretty hard to take,” Ferris revealed.

He felt that in the second half, Ireland had begun to function better and were building to what he hoped would be a telling head of steam.

“We were getting momentum in the game around the 55-60 minutes mark. We were going through a lot of phases and Tommy (Bowe) ended up scoring a great try,” he said.

“I just thought it was going to go our way. Scotland looked like they were starting to tire a bit — a few of the lads were pulling up with cramp.

“But it just wasn’t to be. Every time we got three points five points, Scotland came back and Parks chipped over another penalty. That’s just the way it kept going all day.

“We gave ourselves too much to do after our disappointing first half performance,” was his take on the match.

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Asked to what extent he felt the result was down to Irish failure rather than Scottish success, he replied: “I think that if you look at the disappointment in our dressing room that shows that we know we were totally under par out there.

“And I think Scotland are delighted with the way they played.

“I just hope that next year when we get them that we’re at 100 per cent, because I firmly believe that we’ll beat them.”

Paul O’Connell, meanwhile, admitted: “It’s going to be a tough one to take for the next few months.

“We (Ireland) have no game next week to put it behind us.”

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