DEFIANT Rebel Peter O’Mahony says Ireland are still in the mix to win the Six Nations Championship.
"Absolutely,” said the Cork man when asked if Joe Schmidt’s side can bounce back to earn a championship success in the coming weeks.
“I don’t know why we would be panicking,” said the Ireland vice-captain ahead of next Saturday’s clash with Scotland in Edinburgh.
The Munster captain says, despite the loss at the weekend at the Aviva, the players have a chance to put matters right next weekend, but the loss to England last Saturday hurt and neither he nor his team-mates are shying away from that fact.
“You know, we’ve been sitting here for a long time now and it’s been all positive, this and that, but we were up against one of the best teams in the world and we got beaten, and we’re certainly not going to shy away from that.
“We’re hurting. The Aviva is a place where we haven’t lost in a while.
“You never like losing, no matter if you are playing for Ireland or your club, but particularly at the Aviva which is somewhere we have made a fortress.
“Certainly, that hurts.
“The beauty of our job is that, bar the last game of a campaign, you can get back out if you are given a shot, work hard and train hard during the week for the opportunity to put that right.
“I’m certainly not going to sit here and say it didn’t hurt. It did, but we can’t be sitting around here feeling sorry for ourselves.”
Cork's Billy Holland has been added to the squad after Devin Toner "aggravated an ankle injury" in the 32-20 loss.
Holland has won one cap for Ireland to date, playing against Canada in 2016.
Schmidt's second-row option took a hit even before the tournament began with Tadhg Beirne and Iain Henderson picking up injuries.
Holland joins James Ryan, Quinn Roux and Ultan Dillane as Ireland's available options in the engine room.
Holland's Munster team-mate CJ Stander after the number eight was ruled out for a fortnight with a facial injury sustained last weekend.
Ireland will also face a waiting game on Keith Earls (hip) and Garry Ringrose (hamstring).