/ Rugby

Brian O'Driscoll 'gutted' by last-gasp defeat

Updated: Saturday, 16 Jun 2012 16:30 | Comments

Brian O'Driscoll's Ireland were level with New Zealand until the last minute in Christchurch
Brian O'Driscoll's Ireland were level with New Zealand until the last minute in Christchurch

Audio

Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll claimed his side restored a large measure of pride, despite suffering a last-minute defeat to New Zealand in Christchurch.

He said: "We set standards of ourselves and we're trying to be a consistent team. We dipped below those standards last week, individually and collectively.

"The jersey deserved a little bit more from us and we talked about that this week. Trying to restore a bit of that (pride) in the jersey and I think we did manage to do that. We fell at the final hurdle still."

But O'Driscoll admitted it was hard to take solace from running the All Blacks so close.

He added: "It is difficult when you have fought your way back into the game and got level on the board.

They were a man down for the last seven or eight minutes.

"It is difficult to take any positives from the performance but I'm sure, when we look back, there will be plenty of them.

"We have another goal for next week and we don't have to finish our season on that (result). We have an opportunity to go to Hamilton and do what, essentially, we failed to do today."

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said: "We probably shouldn't have won tonight but the composure we showed allowed us to do that. That is the sign of a good team.

"The big thing tonight is that we have beaten an Irish side that has, probably, played as good as they could have. We didn't play great."

Captain Richie McCaw praised his side for maintaining belief in the game-plan in the final stages.

He added he was "quite happy" when referee Nigel Owens awarded his team a penalty from a contentious, wheeled scrum with eight minutes on the clock.

He said: "To be fair, Ireland had pressure on our scrum, but you've got to do it legally and, in the view of the referee, they did it (at that scrum) illegally."

Ireland coach Declan Kidney refused to single out any of the string of decisions that went in New Zealand's favour following Israel Dagg's trip 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."

Kidney praised the performance of scrum-half Conor Murray, Ireland's try-scorer, and insisted there was more to come from the 23-year-old.

Kidney said: "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."

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use
Powered by NewsWhip