New cap Jack Conan insists that Ireland will be working on their defensive game after their narrow victory over Scotland this afternoon.
However, he said they should not be overly worried by it as he believes they still have plenty of time to fix any problems ahead of the Rugby World Cup.
It comes after the reigning RBS 6 Nations champions claimed a hard-fought 28-22 victory in Dublin, but Joe Schmidt’s side conceded touchdowns to Blair Cowan, Henry Pyrgos and Peter Horne.
Joe Schmidt’s side did not expect to see the Scots storm out of the traps, but despite the Scottish fightback they were able to claim their second victory in a week with tries from Chris Henry, Sean Cronin, Simon Zebo and Luke Fitzgerald.
Conan said he was “not overly happy” with how he performed today, but insisted that he got used to the pace of the game as it went on after being surprised by the speed of the international game from the off.
“I did some good things and I did some things I probably shouldn’t have done. Obviously it was my first taste of international rugby and it just made me realise that everything is that bit quicker, the moment’s opportunity is that bit shorter so if you’re not switched on completely, the moment’s going to pass you by.
“I think the pace of the game caught me a bit by surprise at the start, but once I settled into it, I found it fine.”
The fact that the Scots were able to dot down three times against Ireland is a concern for Schmidt, and Conan is sure it is something that will be worked on as Ireland prepare for the World Cup.
He said: “Defensively, there’s probably moments that we are not happy with, but this is only our second game, we have got two more, so they are areas we can improve on.
“We’ll look at the video and see the few mistakes I made and get better. I’ll take this a milestone and push on and generally get better as a player.”
Ireland appear to be hitting their stride just five weeks out from their Pool D opener against Canada but Zebo warned against complacency and insists they have plenty to improve upon.
Simon Zebo insists Ireland still have plenty of work to do ahead of next month’s Rugby World Cup
“We’re still a bit rusty and it’s still early on – and first games after holidays coming back in are Test matches so it’s a tough standard to jump straight into,” he told Sky Sports 1.
“We’re happy with the progress we’re making and hopefully we can continue that way.
“The players around me did very well. When we had the opportunities we got good ball and it’s made a lot easier running off the likes of Ian Madigan, Isaac Boss and Jared Payne.”
Defeat was tough on Scotland and captain Pyrgos admitted he and his players were disappointed not to have secured a morale-boosting victory in their opening warm-up encounter.
“I think we put ourselves in a position (to win the game),” he said.
“We went ahead three times in the second half but unfortunately we didn’t get out of our half very well and let Ireland back into it.
“Congratulations to them, they played really well and it’s a good win for them but we’re hugely disappointed because we came here to get a win and we didn’t get a win.”