1022.6666666666666x767__origin__0x0_Ireland_full-back_Rob_Kearney_walking_onto_pitchIreland full-back Rob Kearney wants to put their struggling Six Nations start behind them and focus on producing a strong finish with their two remaining home games.

The Irish opened the Championship with a draw against Wales before a narrow loss to France followed. Joe Schmidt’s men then went to Twickenham on Saturday in a must-win clash but came out defeated in a 21-10 loss.

Ireland now have home matches against Italy and Scotland to come in their run-in and Kearney is determined to finish strongly in March.

“To be honest, I think we still had a little bit of hope on Saturday that in the back of our heads that results could have gone our way and we could have been right back in it,” Kearney told the Six Nations website.

“But we’re out of the championship now, we just need to make sure we finish really strongly and round off in mid-table. 

“It is frustrating and of course you want results now.

“But you can’t always be riding the crest of a wave. 

“There are times of transition and perhaps we are in one of those now.

“But at the same time we need to make sure we’re not making any excuses and the team that goes out are doing as best they can.

“I think we played quite well at times and if we took some of those opportunities it could have been a very different scoreboard.

“It’s absolutely imperative that we finish off the tournament with two home wins now.”