Ireland’s hopes of a first win over the All Blacks in New Zealand may look out of reach on the evidence of Saturday’s first test loss in Auckland. After the 42-10 loss, the second test in Christchurch may appear to be an exercise in damage limitation, as the All Blacks will only get better the more time they have together.
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“We understand New Zealand will get better, we have to get better too,” Ireland’s assistant coach Mark Tainton said.
Tainton highlighted Irelands bright start to the game as some form of hope going forward. “In the first 20 minutes we put phases together and were able to apply pressure. But when we were down there we didn’t execute well,” Tainton said.
Ireland and Munster lock Donnacha Ryan implored his team-mates to push on positively.
“We can’t get down. We just have to persevere we just have to keep going,” Ryan said. “We have to look at what we did and what we were trying to do. I think the familiarity of having played together for a game will help.”
Ireland have called in Connacht fullback Sean Duffy as cover with utility back Keith Earls ruled out of consideration for the second test in Christchurch.
Ireland defended their decision to stay in Auckland insisting they had “no fear” about earthquakes in the city that will be hosting its first test match since August 2010.
“There are no fears at all,” Kearney said of the Christchurch situation which he described as “tragic”. The Irish will train in Auckland again today and fly to Christchurch on Thursday.