'If I'm selected I'm good to go again' - CJ Stander on Ireland's clash with Russia


CJ Stander

Munster Rugby's CJ Stander was in front of the media today in Japan. The latest man in green struggling to give answers as to what went wrong against Japan on Saturday morning. 

"We had a look yesterday and a bit today. We started well, went two tries up, we had a few opportunities in the first-half, less the second half when they just took it away from us. There's a few places we can fix-up - just look after the ball a bit more and use opportunities. Japan played well, put us under pressure and kept building on that pressure during the game, especially coming into the second half."

Ireland's discipline came in for criticism too. Losing the penalty count 9-6 on the night. 

"There's a few penalties that were in our control. I gave one away for being offside. It's just those small things - it's marginal, something that we can fix. The other ones, we've looked at them but we're sitting here on a Monday and there's nothing we can do about them. We just need to make sure that we stay crystal clear.”

When asked where the results ranks as a disappointment in his career, the back-row forward admits that is it right up there. 
"It's up there, I'd say it's close to the bottom (biggest disappointment). My red card (against South Africa in Cape Town, 2016) is probably always going to be at the bottom. But it's close to the bottom."

What then of Ireland's lack of consistency, what was the difference between the Scotland win and the Japan loss. 
"It's just in a few games that we've missed the consistency we want from ourselves. We drive ourselves by high standards in what we do on the pitch, so we just need to be consistent in our process and what we do. If we can just build on the moments we have and use opportunities then we can get points on the board. Sometimes if you lose those moments against a team like Japan, then you're going to get let down."

A lot has been made of the humidity during the game. What did Stander make of the conditions and how Ireland dealt with same. 
"You could probably say that in the first game. There was quite a big difference from the first game to this game. It was hot out there but in the first 10 minutes you just forget about it. You have a job to do and adrenaline takes over. It's just small things like sweat and how to get it off your hands. But it wasn't that bad at the weekend, it was a bit more (humid) in the Scotland game. We've prepared well for it in our pre-season. It's not really a factor. It's something that is probably in the back of a few people's minds but it's not a big factor for me anyway."

So what of Russia, this Thursday morning. Will the players be ready, mentally to play? 
"Yes, definitely. It's the excitement of the World Cup. This is what you want to do when you're grown up - be part of a World Cup. So, yes, recovery-wise we're being looked after really well. We've got training tomorrow, so we've got to make sure the bodies are ready. So if I'm selected I'm good to go again."

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