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Page last updated at 13:43 GMT, Sunday, 21 March 2010

Hype before Croke finale affected Ireland admits Ferris

Stephen Ferris
Ferris shows his disappointment after Ireland's surprise defeat

Stephen Ferris believes the hype around Ireland's last game at Croke Park had an impact as their four-year residency ended in an anti-climactic defeat.

"There was a lot of hype coming into it and you can't help but read about it," said Ferris after Scotland's 23-20 win denied Ireland another Triple Crown.

"Perhaps sometimes you need to distance yourselves from that.

"For me personally there was so much hype you can try too hard and sometimes that isn't the best thing to do."

Victory would have given Ireland a fifth Triple Crown in seven years, but a fourth defeat in their 14 games at 'Croker' left them with no silverware after last year's Grand Slam.

"When you're on the pitch it's all guns blazing like every Test match, but before the game we were thinking about the occasion a bit more than we usually would," Ferris explained.

"Maybe that impacted our game, maybe it did for mine slightly.

"That's the way it was for me and it might be the same for a few of the other players. But that's experience and it's in the bank now."


Ireland finished as Six Nations runners-up for the sixth time this decade, leaving them to reflect on a frustrating defence of their crown.

"Obviously we can't view this Six Nations as being successful because we haven't won anything," said Ferris.

"This is a team that can win trophies and should win trophies.

"Everybody's building towards a big World Cup but we didn't take our eye off the money and we wanted to win this Triple Crown.

"We've only lost two games out of the last 15 so we're not a side that is used to losing.

"It's a knock-back when you are beaten by anybody, especially at home where we pride ourselves on our performances.

"But we'll take a lot out of these two defeats in this Six Nations and the younger lads will learn from them.

"We believe we're still on the right road, despite what's happened."

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Ireland v Scotland photos
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