O'Driscoll rues mistakes in Auckland

Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll believes mistakes proved costly as his side lost 42-10 to New Zealand at Eden Park in Auckland.

O'Driscoll rues mistakes in Auckland

Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll believes mistakes proved costly as his side lost 42-10 to New Zealand at Eden Park in Auckland.

Debutant winger Julian Savea scored a hat-trick as Ireland had no answer for the pace and power of the world champions’ backline.

The Hurricanes winger ran in three tries inside the first 43 minutes of his first international outing and the running lines and swift incisions of Israel Dagg, Conrad Smith also caused Ireland problems.

O’Driscoll said: “They are definitely one of the best teams in the world on turnover football. They made us pay a couple of times.

“It was a considerable step up from the provincial stuff. Test match rugby is a different level and I think they bring a good intensity and tempo to it. They try to keep the ball in play as much as possible and back themselves.

“For some of their scores we didn’t help ourselves but they definitely created a few themselves too. I don’t know whether it was a 32-point game but they were considerable, worthy winners.”

The centre believed Savea’s first try on 26 minutes led to New Zealand relaxing considerably and adding more adventure to their game.

He said: “They get into a 16-3 scoreline and their passes started sticking a little bit more and they get into their rhythm a little more.

“Any team that I have ever been on that has been in the ascendancy, that is what you do. You try and keep building the score.

“The intensity that they brought, at times it was something we struggled to live with, and getting numbers around the corner because of the speed of their ruck ball.”

Ireland coach Declan Kidney conceded the All Blacks’ ability to punish Ireland’s mistakes with penalties and tries had drawn them away from their gameplan as the game progressed.

Kidney has injury concerns over props Declan Fitzpatrick and Cian Healy and says Mike Ross, who missed the first Test due to a hamstring injury, would need to be assessed again before deciding whether a replacement should be sent for.

He said: “(Cian) got a knock in the shoulder so we will have to look at that and see how it goes in the next 24 hours. We will have to see how Mike Ross, too, is holding up and Declan, obviously, pulled up with a tight hamstring.”

Kidney added: “Other bangs and knocks are what you would expect so nobody is ruled out. (Keith Earls’) shoulder is a little bit sore too but I could give you names of half a dozen lads that are like that too.”

New Zealand captain Richie McCaw was not completely satisfied with his team’s performance.

McCaw praised the debut efforts of Savea, Aaron Smith and Brodie Retalick but believes there is more to come.

He said; “It was definitely a step up from Super Rugby. The Irish put a lot of heat on the breakdown and we had a lot of ball carriers taken down too early.

“If we get that right and get good, quick ball next week then we can put more pressure on. We can step it up again.”

The captain’s views were reflected by new head coach Steve Hansen.

“There were a couple of tries we blew and there are other areas we will be looking to improve on,” he said.

“We started this week with a goal to have a performance we could be proud of and I think we have done that.”

Hansen began his post-match conference with glowing words of praise for Smith, Retalick and Savea.

He said: “Brodie did the hard, unseen work and Aaron was simply outstanding at half-back. And the young man (Savea) on the wing, he wasn’t too bad.”

New Zealand’s only injury concern of note was Victor Vito, who came off with a bad cut above his eye, but Hansen is confident that the flanker will be able to play in the second Test in Christchurch.

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