After their agonising 22-19 defeat by the All Blacks in the second test in Christchurch, Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll said he was proud of his teams display.
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Ireland were overpowered 42-10 a week ago in the first test in Auckland but appeared rejuvenated and came close to avoiding defeat in New Zealand for the first time. “Our display was hugely improved from last week and I’m proud of the lads,” said O’Driscoll.
After 79 enthralling minutes Ireland had appeared to secure a hard fought draw but Dan Carter kicked a last gasp drop goal securing a narrow victory for the world champions.
“We got back on level terms and to concede the way we did was disappointing.”
“We let ourselves down in the first Test and we spoke about that, we spoke about the jersey and concentrating on our own game, but the scoreline still says an All Blacks win which is difficult to take considering the effort we put in,” added O’Driscoll.
Declan Kidney would not be drawn on questions about any of the decisions that favoured the Kiwi’s after Israel Dagg was sent to the sin-bin. He said: “We are just trying to work on what is under our control. We will have a look at it this week, but will only be focusing on what we can control.”
Instead, the Ireland coach chose to praise Ireland’s try-scorer, scrum-half Conor Murray adding that he believed there was more to come from the 23-year-old.
“He had the confidence to play a bit more tonight. He showed that with the opportunity that he took. His selection was a tight call and Eoin Reddan did well. We’ll just have to see how guys pull up during the week.”
The Irish team may have felt disappointed after a tough game that only slipped away from them in the final minute. Meanwhile, All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw was relieved to get away with a win.
“We made mistakes, let them get momentum and that went against us. We gave the ball away but at the end we are happy,” said McCaw.
“We have got things to work on, but we recovered our composure, forced a mistake and got the win.”