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jacob disappointed Stockdale: My mistakes weren't down to a lack of concentration against France

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Ireland's Jacob Stockdale felt like the basic parts of his game probably let him down

Ireland's Jacob Stockdale felt like the basic parts of his game probably let him down

Ireland's Jacob Stockdale felt like the basic parts of his game probably let him down

Jacob Stockdale has rejected claims that his costly errors in Ireland's defeat to France last weekend were down to a lack of concentration.

The Ireland full-back has come in for plenty of criticism in the wake of the Six Nations finale in Paris, which saw Stockdale make a couple of poor mistakes.

In fronting up this morning, the 24-year old admitted that although his basics did let him down, it wasn't due to lapse in concentration.

Stockdale failed to mop up the ball in the lead up to Ireland conceding a first-half penalty try, while some handling errors also detracted from his overall performance.

“Look, for me it was disappointing,” Stockdale admitted.

“Obviously we went over there hoping that we would be able to bring back a trophy and obviously that didn't go our way.

“For me personally, I felt like the basic parts of my game probably let me down. I did some stuff pretty well and then just not holding onto the ball properly, not making the right decision at the right times – that kind of basic bread and butter stuff that maybe you take for granted the odd time.

“I think that's what let me down in the game. It's a bit disappointing really.

“I don't think it's a lack of concentration or anything like that. The ball was very greasy, probably surprisingly greasy. Maybe that was something that I hadn't necessarily prepared for properly.

“There are a number of different factors. Sometimes the ball can take a real awkward bounce all of a sudden and sometimes it feels a bit unfair.

“But look, at the end of day, I rate myself as being able to make sure that I can deal with that sort of stuff and I didn't, which is the disappointing part for me.”

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Stockdale launches Christmas campaign for mental health charity Aware

Stockdale launches Christmas campaign for mental health charity Aware

Stockdale launches Christmas campaign for mental health charity Aware

Stockdale has avoided social media over the last few days in a bid to 'block out the noise' but that doesn't mean he is shying away from the improvements he must make in his game.

“I have kinda, over the last year or two, really learned to block out the noise to a certain extent,” the Ulster man maintained.

“I feel that is something I have got pretty good at.

“Funnily enough, when your mates are texting you saying 'Are you alright?', you kind of know that you are getting quite destroyed on social media anyway.

“But you are going to have arm-chair pundits, you are going to have fans who aren't happy with the game. Unfortunately, that's just the nature of it.

“I think I have got pretty good at being able to have four or five people's opinions that I know are really good rugby players or rugby coaches, and trust their opinions on the matter, and being able to block out that outside noise.”

Stockdale is hoping to get another shot at full-back in Ireland's upcoming Autumn Nations Cup campaign, even if there have been calls for him to revert back to the wing.

“Look, I have said it before plenty when I was playing wing and it's the same when I'm at full-back – I am happy to play any position that gets me on the pitch. However, I have really been enjoying playing full-back,” Stockdale added.

“Unfortunately you probably take a bit more flak at full-back because you have a bit more work to do. But that's the nature of the job – it's the nature of being in a professional sports environment.

“I am happy to take that on the chin and admit that I am not, by and away the finished product at 15 yet. I am still learning the role and learning the position. But I am trying to get better.”

Meanwhile, Maxol brand ambassador Jacob Stockdale today launched the annual charity Christmas fundraiser for Aware. Ireland’s leading family-owned forecourt and convenience retailer is planning to raise more than €70,000 for the mental health charity over the next eight weeks.

Ten cent from every cup of ROSA coffee and all hot drinks bought during November and December will be donated by Maxol to the charity, which is facing serious funding challenges at a time when demand on its services has increased significantly, as a direct result of the pandemic.

Over the past eight months, Aware has seen a 60 per cent increase in calls to its Support Line, highlighting the impact of the pandemic and related socioeconomic factors on public wellbeing. Its Support Mail service has also reported an increase of 30 per cent with a peak of 100 per cent in May.

Many are also looking to proactively protect their mental health and, to date, almost 4,000 people have availed of Aware’s online positive mental health programme.

To access Aware’s services or for more information on the charity www.aware.ie

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