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IRELAND V SCOTLAND The onus is on players to get it right and show we're making progress under Farrell says Conor Murray

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Conor Murray stands over the scrum during the Autumn Nations Cup match between Ireland and Georgia

Conor Murray stands over the scrum during the Autumn Nations Cup match between Ireland and Georgia

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Ireland head coach Andy Farrell is under pressure to end the season on a winning note against Scotland

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell is under pressure to end the season on a winning note against Scotland

SPORTSFILE

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Conor Murray stands over the scrum during the Autumn Nations Cup match between Ireland and Georgia

Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray says the onus is on the players to show the team is making progress under Andy Farrell.

The experienced No 9, who has been in and out of the team in recent weeks, maintains that they are moving in the right direction despite last Sunday's damaging second-half performance against Georgia.

If Ireland play the same way again, they'll finish 2020 with a defeat to Scotland and Murray says the team itself must step up.

"We’ve reviewed the game honestly and truthfully and there’s an appetite in the squad to get it right this weekend," the Munster star said.

"I’ve said in loads of interviews that there’s small fixes, or we’re very close or this and that, so it’s up to the players now.

“The coaches have given us everything we need to go out and perform and it’s about us executing at the weekend. If it’s a matter of executing a breakdown or getting fast ball or not letting the Georgians slow things down, things like that are solely on the players’ backs to get right.

"And, off the back of that, to convert opportunities.

“We were annoyed at the weekend that we didn't perform better and get more points on the board even though Georgia deserved to be in the game but you can sense it as a playing group that we’re frustrated with what we’ve shown last weekend and we want to put it right this weekend.

“So, that usually leads to a much better performance, when the players take ownership and they understand that it was on them and a lot of the fixes are down to the players so there’s that vibe in camp this week.”

Although they finished below Ireland in the Six Nations, Scotland come to Dublin believing they can win at the Aviva Stadium.

"They’re a good side and as you’ve seen over the last few years, I know we’ve won the majority of them but they’ve been really close battles and we’ve tagged on a few scores late in most of those games," Murray said.

“They’re always a really difficult side to play against and they’ve a few new fellahs in there, exciting players, and look, if they had played against Georgia last week and struggled to put them to sword, if you will, we’d be more confident than we usually would so I’m sure they are licking their lips.

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Ireland head coach Andy Farrell is under pressure to end the season on a winning note against Scotland

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell is under pressure to end the season on a winning note against Scotland

SPORTSFILE

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell is under pressure to end the season on a winning note against Scotland

“That’s the challenge for us, to right the wrongs from last weekend and put it up to the Scots because they’ve no fear of coming to the Aviva, they always seem to put it up to us and it’s a game they always play well in. It’s definitely a huge challenge for us. Forty minutes isn’t going to dampen our mood this week.

“We’ve been enjoying camp, we’ve been enjoying the way we’ve been playing, we’ve seen really good glimpses of it so it’s another chance to go out there and show people.”

Despite losing his place in the starting XV for the defeat to England last month, Murray is in a positive frame of mind about the competition for places.

"It’s something that I’ve processed and working with Jamison (Gibson-Park) and working with Marmo (Kieran Marmion) for years, it puts the onus on you to bring out the best in yourself," he said.

“It’s been really enjoyable working with Jamison for the first time and there’s a new feel to this group anyway so you feel like you’re almost proving yourself all over again. And with the added competition it’s brilliant for me.

“For me, I’ve tried to put it into a positive and hopefully it brings out the best in me.

"I’ve felt good over this tournament from the end of last year’s Six Nations and into this tournament, I’m feeling good and I think having that competition heightens your awareness or you competitiveness and you relish the chances that you do get.”

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