The Official Online RBS 6 Nations Store is open. The store has everything you need to get behind your team during the RBS 6 Nations, plus the store is now fully stocked with a much wider range of rugby merchandise.
Despite a Welsh rally Ireland returned home with a 30-22 win over the reigning Grand Slam champions but that was about as good as it got.
Defeat at home to England on matchday two was followed by a surprise loss against a gritty, determined Scotland side at Murrayfield before last weekend’s 13-13 draw with France, with Ireland having led 13-3 at the break.
The results can be put in to context by Ireland’s lengthy injury list which has seen the likes of fly-half Jonny Sexton, Gordon D’Arcy, Simon Zebo and Chris Henry as well as long-term absentees Tommy Bowe and Paul O’Connell, all spend time on the sidelines.
Sexton is set to return to the starting XV, having injured his hamstring against England, for this weekend’s trip to Italy, but Best is adamant whoever plays for Ireland should be good enough to compete and there are no excuses for failing to deliver in this year’s Championship.
“I think you have to treat the situation for what it is. We’re making no excuses for the injuries. We as a group see ourselves as better than winning just one game,” said Best.
“We have been very unlucky, very unlucky in a few situations, but there have been other situations that we can control where we haven’t done as well as we should have done.
“We would be hoping to go in and finish third in this Championship, while it’s never acceptable for any Irish squad, especially in this modern era, when we look back potentially on the only two games we may end up losing, we had a lot of chances to win those games. “Bar maybe a little bit of experience, you change those two results and you have a different campaign.
“We are seeing a lot of positives in it, but still, at the same time, we expect to win more than one game in a Six Nations.”