Press Conference: Andy Farrell and Johnny Sexton react to dramatic victory

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Pride was the overwhelming emotion for Andy Farrell after Ireland recovered from allowing a 14-point lead to slip to defeat Scotland 27-24 at BT Murrayfield.

Pride was the overwhelming emotion for Andy Farrell after Ireland recovered from allowing a 14-point lead to slip to defeat Scotland 27-24 at BT Murrayfield.

A dramatic encounter saw Ireland take a 14-10 lead into the break thanks to a Robbie Henshaw try and Johnny Sexton’s boot as Scotland kept in touch with ten points from Finn Russell.

Tadhg Beirne’s try plus another five points from Sexton extended Ireland’s lead to 14 before Scotland levelled the game with converted tries from Huw Jones and Hamish Watson.

But Sexton stepped up to convert the winning points with a penalty in the 78th minute to leave Ireland head coach Farrell proud of the character his side showed at the death.

“My overriding feeling is one of pride really,” Farrell said.” I thought when things were not quite going our way at the business end of the game, the last ten minutes was where it could be won or lost.

“To come back from a few slip-ups error-wise from the restart, the lineout and defensively we let things slip a bit, and to defend your own line like we did time and time again.

“We just kept knocking them back, getting back off the floor and obviously they got the seven points to draw the game, it would take down a few teams mentally.

“But they stayed together, they stayed focused, they regrouped, great kick-off, good chase, good pressure and stayed focus in the next moment and we got the turnover.

“Big game players that’s what they do, they take responsibility and Johnny [Sexton] put over the points so we’ll pick it apart like we always do, there’s plenty to work on as always.

“It’s one of pride because Scotland are a good side and no one finds it easy coming here and coming away with the victory, never mind with the form they have been in.

“I’ve been here plenty of times and struggled with most teams we’ve been up here with so really proud to get the win and really proud in the way we started the game and ended the game.”

Ireland’s victory was their second of the 2021 Championship and means they are up to second in the table, having lost their opening two games to Wales and France.

And Farrell was quick to praise the influence of Paul O’Connell for his role in Ireland’s resurgence since coming in as forwards coach, especially after their impressive lineout performance.

“He’s been top class and that’s why we’ve brought him in,” Farrell added. “I’ve known Paul for quite some time now and I know how serious he is about his rugby and everyone else does as well.

Guinness Six Nations Player of the Match Beirne crossed fingers as Ireland left it late

“This is his first time at international rugby, he’s still learning the ropes and doing a fantastic job at the same time which is all credit to him, his work ethic and his knowledge, how he is with the boys.

“What I would say is that Paul would be the first person to acknowledge the work that Simon Easterby [Ireland defence coach] has done when he came in, Paul has been on record saying he’s been happy to facilitate some of the stuff that was already there.

“He’ll also be the first to say regarding the defensive lineout that it’s the ownership of the players that matter and they have drove that side of the lineout superbly well.

“Paul will be the first to say that and in fact he told me to say that in the dressing room. As far as the defensive lineout is concerned James Ryan has really stepped up and taken control of that.”

Ireland skipper Sexton said his side’s triumph in Edinburgh demonstrated the surprises that international rugby can throw up but he was pleased to kick the winning points.

“With ten minutes to go I didn’t see the game unfolding like that but international rugby throws things at you don’t expect at times and I thought we dominated large parts of the game,” he said.

“But when they had their small purple patches they scored. We were 14 points up and we conceded that try and it just changes the game again, we just need to be better there.

“You then have to kick it and I had kicked pretty well in that game. It wasn’t my best of the day, my best of the day hit the post, but it was enough. I was trying to keep it a bit lower.

“It was quite blustery in the stadium and it was a good enough strike to get over and thankfully we get the four points and we’re up to second now ahead of big end to the tournament next week.”