'You can't lie about moping' - Jacob Stockdale on Ireland's start to the World Cup #RWC2019
One of Ireland’s young guns has been taking the lead from an old hand to help keep his World Cup campaign on track.
Jacob Stockdale admits to having felt exceptionally low after the surprise defeat by Japan in Shizuoka last weekend, but he drew on the advice of fellow winger Keith Earls to help get over that setback.
"You don't expect to be feeling that way after your second Rugby World Cup game, or I didn't anyway," said 23-year-old Stockdale.
"I've experienced a few losses in an Ireland shirt and they don’t get any easier. It was incredibly disappointing."
Stockdale was rested for the 35-0 win against Russia, but is likely to be back in action against Samoa on Saturday (12 October), with Ireland chasing a bonus-point win to guarantee their place in the quarter-finals.
He credits some words of wisdom from Earls, who spoke to him about feeling the pressure during the 2015 tournament, for helping to restore his spirits.
"This time around, he's not letting that get to him. He's just going out and enjoying his rugby," said Stockdale.
"You get really wound up about not putting in the perfect performance, or not having the perfect game every week.
"That pressure can build to a point where it takes control of you, or you can just go out and enjoy your rugby and be confident in your ability.
"You can't be lying about moping - you have to get on with it. It was a tough couple of days but I always find it's easier once training starts again. It gives you something to focus on and motivate yourself and put all the rest behind you."
There is not much chance of any Ireland player not being fully focused when coach Joe Schmidt is in the middle of proceedings. Stockdale said the coach "likes to push the intensity" on the training ground.
"It's amazing how much pressure one man can put on an entire team, but it's brilliant what he does," he added.
"And whenever you're off, he's a bit more relaxed and you're able to chill out a bit more. I think he gets a really good balance in his coaching style."
OUR RUGBY WORLD CUP 2019 COVERAGE IS PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY MATT O'BRIEN FASHIONS LONGFORD