Zebo: "If you're not 100% on your game, you'll be punished at this level"

The winger was reflecting on Ireland's loss to Scotland

Zebo: "If you're not 100% on your game, you'll be punished at this level"

Simon Zebo and Head coach Joe Schmidt. Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Ireland winger Simon Zebo highlighted the competitive nature of top tier international rugby and lamented Ireland's focus as they slipped to an opening round Six Nations defeat to Scotland.

Speaking to Off the Ball's Dave McIntyre he said: "There was nothing wrong with the game plan. I think the players probably didn't execute it to the best of our ability and sometimes you have those days and Scotland were excellent on the day as well.

"They really put our skills under pressure and we couldn't get the ball into space. And if there was space there, we were just struggling to get it there.

"It's one of those things, if you're not 100% on your game you'll be punished at this level. It's a harsh lesson for us but we've got to fight our way back into the championship this weekend," he added.

Ireland’s Simon Zebo is tackled by Scotland’s Ross Ford. Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Looking ahead to the Italy match on Saturday, the Munster man confirmed the team would approach the match systematiclly saying: "Yeah, I don't think there's any plans to lose the plot and start slinging the ball 20 metre passes and all this stuff. Every inch out there is going to a battle especially against a dogged Italian side who's playing at home.

"They lost their first game so they won't be lying down easy either. We really have to win every inch so in the long run so we can be within a shout on 80 minutes," he added.