Ireland refusing to panic despite England defeat

Peter O'Mahony after Ireland's loss to England in 2019 Six Nations

Peter O'Mahony has insisted Ireland can still retain their Six Nations title.

The Munster flanker admitted Ireland were stung but not panicked, after Saturday's comprehensive 32-20 Dublin defeat by England.

A frustrated O'Mahony rejected suggestions Ireland had not been as motivated as England, who dominated physically in their four-try victory.

The 29-year-old pledged Ireland will now head to Scotland on Saturday in a bid to reassert their class, and set the defence of their 2018 title back on track.

Asked if Ireland can still win this year's tournament, O'Mahony replied: "Absolutely. We were up against one of the best teams in the world and we got beaten, and we're not going to shy away from that.

"But I don't know why we would be panicking.

"We're hurting, 100 per cent. The Aviva Stadium is a place where we hadn't lost for a while.

"You never like losing, no matter if you are playing for Ireland or your club, but particularly at the Aviva which is somewhere we have made a fortress.

"Certainly that hurts.

"I'm certainly not going to sit here and say it didn't hurt. It did. But we can't be sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves.

"England at home says enough in itself, so I don't think we weren't motivated to go and win at home. That doesn't sit well with me.

"There's a lot of rugby to be played between now and the end of the campaign.

"We're going to go back to do what we do well, and we're going to do that excellently this week, hopefully."

O'Mahony's Munster team-mate CJ Stander will miss up to four weeks due to facial fractures.

Ireland will miss Stander's physical approach for Saturday's Murrayfield clash, and will be forced to re-jig their back-row.

Leinster's fit-again flanker Sean O'Brien could step straight into the starting line-up, having come into the fray as a replacement against England.

O'Brien has only just recovered from the broken arm he suffered in Ireland's November Tests, but O'Mahony believes he is ready to start if called upon.

"I'm not going to sit here and pick the team, but Sean O'Brien, the name along speaks for itself," said O'Mahony.

"He's been unlucky with injury here and there, but there isn't anybody more professional and a big-game player than Sean O'Brien."

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