Manager Declan Kidney puts Ireland’s rough patch down to a lack of experience of test matches saying, “They definitely haven’t forgotten how to win, they’re still confident in what they’re trying to do; it’s just a frustration.”
Ulsterman Tommy Bowe though says the mood in the camp is upbeat despite Saturday’s defeat being Ireland fifth consecutive test loss.
The poor run could have a serious effect and should Ireland lose to Argentina later this month, they risk being relegated into the third tier of seeds for the World Cup in 2015 but despite thats Bowe maintains that the mood in the camp is a positive one.
“There isn’t really a feeling that the team is going through a difficult period at the moment,” the Monaghan man said.
“Everyone was upbeat and was looking forward to South Africa. I felt we’d go after them and win – we’d targeted this match. Having lost it we’ll have to reassess that.”
Saturday’s test did offer some positives to Declan Kidney’s team though. The performance of some of Ireland’s new boys against a major force in world rugby was extremely encouraging and Bowe was quick to point out their contribution in the absence of more established figures like Brian O’Driscoll and Paul O’Connell.
“The likes of Chris Henry and Mike McCarthy stepped up to the plate, they were outstanding”, Bowe said.
“There’s been a lot of talk about the guys who are missing, but that will happen and there must be a new breed of player coming through”.
With Fiji coming up before the crucial showdown with Argentina, Kidney may opt to field a few more fringe players to get a look first hand at the stars of Ireland’s future. It might be advisable however to stay the course for the sake of momentum heading into the Six Nations.