(Reuters) – Ireland will show Wales the respect they deserve in their final Six Nations game but believe they can snap their 13-match unbeaten run and deny them a Grand Slam in Cardiff on Saturday, flyhalf Johnny Sexton has said.
Wales lead the Championship with 16 points while holders Ireland are third on 14, a point behind England. With England taking on Scotland later on Saturday, there is a potential three-way battle for the title.
“I don’t know if Wales feel like they are invincible. They’re saying they have forgotten how to lose and all that,” Sexton told reporters.
“We’ve played well against teams that have been on runs before when you talk about England, New Zealand and stopping their runs.
“We’ll give them the respect they absolutely deserve. We’ll analyse them, we’ll talk about where we can get at them, where they are very strong. They look pretty tough to break down.”
Ireland, who won the Grand Slam last year, have been far from their best in this year’s championship.
They lost to England in the first round and then produced unconvincing wins over Scotland and Italy, which Sexton blames on minor errors piling up.
“Honestly, there was nothing majorly broken in the first few games. There was just some uncharacteristic errors from some individuals and some break downs in just a couple of things,” Sexton added.
“That just adds up and if everyone makes a couple of mistakes then suddenly you have 30 errors and you are in a bit of trouble.”
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)