Ireland not clicking - Sexton
Fly-half Johnny Sexton says Ireland have simply not been good enough in the Six Nations to date.
The Irish came into this year's northern hemisphere tournament as the favourites to retain the crown they won last year having enjoyed an excellent 2018, winning a first-ever series in Australia before getting the better of New Zealand in Dublin in the autumn.
However, an opening Six Nations loss at home to England has seemingly knocked Joe Schmidt's men out of their stride and although they have recovered to beat Scotland and Italy in subsequent matches, they have looked far from the team that ended last year challenging the All Blacks for the number one ranking in world rugby.
Sexton's own performances have epitomised Ireland's Six Nations so far, with the 2018 World Player of the Year struggling for form and committing several handling errors in Sunday's 26-16 win in Rome.
While the 33-year-old believes Ireland have not had the rub of the green they enjoyed when winning the Grand Slam last year, he has also acknowledged that they have to raise their game for the remaining clashes with France and Wales.
"We just have to say that we haven't been good enough yet," Sexton told Virgin Media One broadcast.
"(We're) unbelievably frustrated. How can you not be when you're doing as good a preparation as you did last year, you're training as well as you did last year? You're doing everything right and things aren't just clicking. No one cares more than us."
Chris Rivers is an experienced reporter who closely follows both Arsenal and Wales Rugby Union team. As well as in-depth football and rugby knowledge, Chris is an avid American Football, Formula One and boxing fan.