Kidney sees showing as a step forward


COACH'S REACTION:After games like these the temptation is always to look at the greater possibilities of the next match, find glory before a boot is even placed on the pitch.

Fiji may be the close to hand life saving flotation device but against Argentina in less than two weeks time for once the result will be more important than the performance.

Declan Kidney is settled on the idea that lock Paul O’Connell will not be available for the next two matches. In one sense the certainty of the injuries makes the coach’s job more straight forward if less appetising.

“What I’d like to do is get a full report so as to give you the proper guidelines but I don’t see him coming back for Argentina,” said Kidney.

The game against Argentina is now bigger than ever, Ranking points and pride, a lot is on the line against the side that convincingly beat Wales. There is a groundhog day feel and back in 2008 when the teams met the stakes were similar.

“Yeah, we’re there again, aren’t we,” added the coach. “It’ll be a World Cup qualifier in lots of ways but that’s why the next week or 10 days will be so important to prepare for that and to get the right balance between combinations and giving guys a run and freshening it up.

“The team four years ago were a very well settled side. This is a whole new side and they’re frustrated. Inside there in the dressing room they’re just cracked because they know they let another one get by again.

“You look at today we had three new caps came on . . . then we had four or five fellas starting who had 10 caps under their belt. Four years ago the least capped guy would have had about 30 caps so it’s a totally different scenario.”

But from the wreckage Kidney can salvage useful parts for the days ahead. “There’ll always be positives. We lost the game, that’s the overriding feeling,” he said. “Tough learning curve and we’ll gain in the future. We need to get something in a fortnight’s time and get up and running for next week.

“The last game in the summer was unacceptable. Today is a step forward in terms of bringing through. You don’t put on jersey to finish second. I don’t want to hide behind the result.”

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