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Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll has admitted his side had been "smashed" by New Zealand in the third test

Updated: Saturday, 23 Jun 2012 13:45 | Comments

Brian O'Driscoll was left devastated by the 60-point loss at Waikato Stadium
Brian O'Driscoll was left devastated by the 60-point loss at Waikato Stadium

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Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll admitted his side had been "smashed" by New Zealand and dominated at the breakdown as the All Blacks completed a series whitewash with a record 60-0 victory at Waikato Stadium.

A brace of tries from Sonny Bill Williams and Sam Cane broke the back of Ireland's challenge with the match effectively over as New Zealand led 29-0 at half-time.

By the final whistle in Hamilton the All Blacks had run in nine tries in a scintillating show that well and truly ended Ireland's 11-month season on a low with what was their worst ever defeat to New Zealand.

O'Driscoll said: "You get sick of that scoreline pretty quickly. It is a difficult one to take today.

"The second you give them two or three scores by 20 minutes they are a different team. They start to play with a buffer - they are a bit like France that way."

He added: "They dominated us at the breakdown. They smashed us today and, as a result, we weren't able to put together many phases. There was an amount of unforced errors on top of that."

Coach Declan Kidney insisted that, in time, the team would learn from the humbling experience of two heavy losses in three weeks and declared he would not be stepping down from his role.

He said: "I have absolutely no doubt that the players can go on (and challenge for top prizes).

"It is an honour to coach your country. I've been asked to coach my country and I will continue to do so."

Kidney said Ireland suffered in the first and third Tests because they conceded easy points to the All Blacks and were "drawn into their type of game".

"Right now it hurts," he added. "It is easy to hop on the bandwagon right now.

"We've found out a lot of things about ourselves but we will look at that in the off-season."

O'Driscoll conceded that sections of the game had been a blur to him, but claimed his team never stopped trying.

"I can't remember all of their scores but they didn't have to work too hard for a lot of them," he said.

"It is difficult to look back on other performances (by New Zealand against Ireland) and think of a better one."

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen believes the future is bright for his side after outstanding performances by young stars including Cane, Beauden Barrett and Aaron Smith.

He said: "[Fly-half] Aaron Cruden ran the team as if he had been there for years, then Beauden came in and did the same.

"Sam Cane was outstanding tonight. He has given me an easier night's sleep tonight because I know how to look after my mate [Richie McCaw] beside me here."

The coach revealed many of the senior players spoke up in training midweek about the 24 penalties conceded by the team last weekend in Christchurch.

"We have introduced a group of young men to the All Black jersey and, by and large, we are pretty happy with how they have performed," he added.

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw said: "The head guys wanted to get up into the line and make the tackles tonight. That is how we forced mistakes and turnovers.

"Even with 10 minutes to go we spoke on the pitch about not letting them cross our line. It was good fun out there."

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