Andy Farrell said Ireland will take heart from their second-half performance against New Zealand as they regroup ahead of next Saturday's second Test in Dunedin.

Ireland found themselves 28-5 down at the break at Eden Park after a late first-half collapse saw New Zealand score three tries in a nine-minute purple patch.

But Farrell was encouraged by his side’s response after the restart, with Garry Ringrose and Bundee Aki scoring tries at either end of the second half – and a host of scoring chances squandered in between.

Ireland endured a tough night in the scrum and lineout

Speaking to RTÉ Sport after the 42-19 defeat, Farrell said: "We’re disappointed to lose but I think you have got to take the context of the game, understand what they’re good at, what we need to do better, and what we did really well at the same time.

"We did a lot of good things out there. We caused them a lot of trouble, especially in that second half. I’ve seen plenty of teams fold with a scoreline like that at half-time but we showed plenty of resolve.

"I counted five times we had opportunities to score and didn’t quite convert for whatever reason.

"There are things to fix and get answers from as far as our set-piece is concerned. But in reality, they hit us on the break, didn’t they? We started well and they hit us on the break. Before you know it, the scoreboard is well against you."

Ireland were threatening to regain the lead on the half-hour when Sevu Reece intercepted a Ringrose pass inside the New Zealand 22 and raced downfield to score the first of three quick-fire tries.

"We were playing some good stuff," said Farrell. "If you're not clinical or if there’s turnover ball, an intercept and all of a sudden you’re under your posts.

"We’ve got to make sure we iron those out along with a few other things. There’s plenty of positives to head into next week with."

Johnny Sexton (centre) was withdrawn after half an hour

Ireland must win in Dunedin to keep the three-Test series alive but they could be without captain Johnny Sexton after he was withdrawn in the first half with a head injury.

Sexton slipped while in possession and his head collided with the elbow of All Blacks captain Sam Cane.

Replacement hooker Dave Heffernan was also forced off with a concussion just minutes after his introduction in the second half.

"We’ve come over here to find out about ourselves as far as how we push forward," said Farrell.

"There’s a question to be asked next week as far as the second Test is concerned because that’s where the series is decided. But I can tell already we’re really up for the fight.

"There’s nothing better than a New Zealand tour to test your resolve. The lads are up for it.

"It’s an opportunity missed but we’re up for the fight, for the challenge. That’s why we’re here. We want these types of situations."

Meanwhile, Ireland have called Stuart McCloskey to the squad.

The 29-year-old Ulster centre has six caps to his name and scored a try in both of last summer's Tests against the USA and Japan.

Provincial team-mate James Hume was injured in the defeat to the Maori All Blacks on Wednesday.