AND forwards coach Simon Easterby has urged his side to avoid being haunted by a repeat of 2007 as they prepare for their crunch Six Nations clash with Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday.
Reigning champions Ireland are level on points with leaders England and Wales in the championship reckoning, although Stuart Lancaster’s outfit hold a slender advantage in a race set to be determined by points difference.
Flanker Easterby was a try-scorer as Ireland beat Italy 54-21 in Rome eight years ago, but the men in green chased a final points boost rather than kick the ball into touch, and a late touchdown from the Azzurri’s Roland de Marigny proved pivotal.
France went on to hammer Scotland 46-19 and wipe out the points difference to secure the championship by a four-point margin, and Easterby is wary of a repeat blunder.
Easterby said: “The performance first and foremost will give us the right result and what goes on outside of our environment in Rome and London is exactly that, outside our control, and we can’t factor that into what we’re doing.”