Battered Sexton should be back for Italy trip

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You couldn't argue with any of them. "These are the situations you love to be in when you're on the back foot and you have to come out fighting".

"We restricted them to an intercept try and it was a massive defensive effort".

"We have three of the toughest games to come", said the former Glasgow player of games against France, Wales and England.

"He's very sore", said Scotland coach Gregor Townsend.

The Scots have won one and lost one so far, having beaten Italy in their opener.

Ireland would always punish such sloppiness more ruthlessly and Japan's coaching team will have noticed how decisively they capitalized on Scotland's lack of discipline and accuracy in the second half.

Brian O'Driscoll has explained what Johnny Sexton can do to extend his rugby career, after the Ireland number 10 encountered a bruising battle in Ireland's win over Scotland this weekend.

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"There was definitely a rise in temperature, definitely a rise in energy, from last week", Schmidt said.

Scotland skipper Greig Laidlaw later questioned some of the decisions from French referee Romain Poite.

Centre Huw Jones and fullback Stuart Hogg suffered knee and shoulder ligament injuries respectively in the same game, the SRU added, but both remain part of the squad and will be assessed by a specialist this week.

Ireland fly-half Johnny Sexton was forced off after being struck by a series of big hits, the heaviest in the build-up to their second try.

Earls extended the advantage after half-time with Ireland's third try. In the couple of minutes leading up to the break, there was a period of play that saw Scotland go through 25 phases deep inside Irish territory without scoring a single point.

BOD reiterated what needs to occur in Sexton's mindset and game preparation if Ireland are to keep hold of their talisman for a longer time. Scottish hooker Stuart McInally denied his team was demoralized to still go in behind, but admitted they were "knackered" in the second half. "If we're going to progress as a country we're going to have to start winning these games".

"He just has to be a little bit selfish and look after himself by giving it a fraction earlier than he ordinarily would, because he is 33 and because we need him more than ever in the World Cup".

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