Conor Murray admits Ireland were taught a tough lesson by England on Saturday night, but the scrum-half is convinced he and his teammates will be better off for it.
England ran in four tries at the Aviva Stadium in their 32-20 Guinness Six Nations victory that kicked off the 2019 Championship in style.
Ireland had not shipped four tries at home since Australia did it in November 2013, but Henry Slade’s late double added gloss to a dominant Red Rose win.
After a dominant 2018 that saw Ireland win a Grand Slam and down the All Blacks, this was a rough start to 2019.
But British & Irish Lions No.9 Murray is confident his side will bounce back.
“Now that this has happened, we need to make sure we use it well, learn from it,” he said.
“And in the future you want to be able to look back on this and say ‘that actually did us some good because we learned and improved off the back of it, and found more ways to be successful’.
“It doesn’t feel like that now because it’s a loss and any loss is tough to take.
“Physically we know we can be up at that level, but we were just off and we’ve got to sort that out.
“I have big confidence in this group though, I really do. We’re an honest group, we’ll have a hard look at ourselves, regather ourselves and go again.”
Next up for Ireland is a daunting trip to BT Murrayfield to take on Scotland, a fixture they lost last time out in the 2017 Championship.
And Murray knows his side must turn things around, and fast, if they are to still have a say in this year’s Championship.
“The players will drive it as much as Joe and the coaching staff,” added Murray.
“All credit to England, they were good. We were just a little bit off. As a playing group we’ve got to be honest with ourselves and drive that as a team.
“I think we’re a very realistic group, we don’t get ahead of ourselves. We’re going to have to be really tight this week, but that’s exciting I think.
“We’ve got to dust ourselves down, not feel sorry for ourselves. I think Murrayfield’s a great place to go to try to get a win and get back on track.”