Six Nations: No place to hide for Ireland’s misfiring captain

Bad day for Irish outhalf Johnny Sexton with kicking boots and ball in hand

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell says he "needs to look at himself" after England raced into a first half lead in Twickenham and went on to beat his side 24-12 in round three of the Six Nations. Video: Perform/Reuters

American novelist James Lane Allen once wrote that “adversity doesn’t build character, it reveals it” – a statement that will carry a certain resonance for the Ireland players and coaching team, individually and collectively, as they try to come to terms with the disappointment of Twickenham.

Ireland dug deep in the second half but that shouldn’t camouflage the threadbare nature of many aspects of the display. Forewarned, based on the last two matches between the countries, they should have been forearmed, but instead looked startled and desperately unsure – something that they only began to shake a little and sporadically in the second half.

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