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Published: 10:21 | 13/6/18

Ireland will bounce back in second Test, insists Sexton


Johnny Sexton insists Ireland will learn from their mistakes and bounce back in the second Test against Australia at the AAMI Park in Melbourne on Saturday.

Ireland saw their 12-game winning streak come to an end with a 19-8 defeat in the first Test in Brisbane last Saturday and must avoid another loss to keep the three-match series alive.

Sexton started on the bench in Brisbane giving way to Joey Carbery, but is set to be given the No.10 jersey from the beginning in Melbourne to earn his 81st cap.

It was unusual territory for the 32-year-old who had not been on the bench since the 2011 British and Irish Lions first Test loss to South Africa at Eden Park.

The fly-half also tasted defeat in for the first time in 20 matches in 2018 and his first for Ireland since losing in Cardiff in the Six Nations in 2017.

The Leinster star believes that although a chastening experience, the defeat must be regarded positively if they are to square the series.

He explained: "We try and learn through winning, which is something we did quite well through the Six Nations, which is a sign of a good team.

"But you learn a lot when you lose. Now, we've got to bounce back. We've got to show a reaction and we've got to perform a hell of a lot better than we did last week.

"If you lose a game, if you can look back and say, 'we played as well as we can and we did everything we can', you can live with it, to a certain extent.

"But, there were parts of the game we have looked back on and say, 'we didn't quite do that good enough'."

Sexton was a young player under Aussie coach Michael Cheika during his tenure as coach at Leinster from 2005 to 2010 and says he was not surprised by the level of intensity that he has brought to the host nation's play.

He added: "Any team that plays under Michael Cheika will bring that and we knew it was coming, but we probably didn't deal with it as well as we could have in terms of allowing them to come out of the line and hit us.

"We will learn that I'm sure they will bring the same intensity this week."

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