03:43 9 Nov 2021

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Ireland Captain Jonathan Sexton says they are not getting carried away after their impressive showing against Japan at the weekend. 

Andy Farrell's side enjoyed a really impressive 60-5 win over the Japanese on Saturday afternoon as they got their Autumn Internationals underway.

Ireland scored nine tries, including a hat-trick from Andrew Conway, in the hammering at the Aviva Stadium.

Much has been made of Ireland's movement and timings, with the whole side in step throughout the performance.

Sexton, who scored a try in what was his 100th appearance in an Irish shirt, at 36 remains the key cog in the Irish machine.

He says it's really positive to see what they've been building towards coming to fruition but also that they still have work to do as they prepare for the All Blacks this weekend.

"We've been working on it very hard over the last couple of years.

"We've seen it before, thinking back to the Italy game and we did some good things against Scotland and then England we did some.

"It's been more evident in this calendar year, we were probably still getting used to it before that.

"There's still a bit to go yet, we're not kidding ourselves.

"We're not saying we know it all but the boys worked hard off the ball and they created a lot of opportunity.

"As a 10, you're only as good as the guys around you really and they have to make sure you've got those options and we did it really well on Saturday but we need to up it again this week."

Saturday's game against New Zealand will be the first time the sides will have met since the World Cup in 2019 where Ireland suffered a heavy defeat under then head coach Joe Schmidt.

It will also be the first sold-out rugby game in Ireland since before the onset of the pandemic.

Sexton has spoken about how tough it was at times during the lockdown to play in empty stadiums.

"Last Saturday was amazing, to have that many people back.

"This week will be a notch up again, there's no tickets to be got anywhere, from what I hear.

"We're really, really looking forward to getting back into a full Aviva.

"It's a little bit of a later kick-off so the supporters will have had a couple of extra drinks and I'm sure the atmosphere will go to a different level."

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All Blacks Autumn Internationals IRFU Ireland Johnny Sexton

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