O'Driscoll embarrassed by drubbing

 

Rugby:Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll was embarrassed by his side’s humiliating 60-0 drubbing by New Zealand in the third Test in Hamilton. The All Blacks completed a 3-0 series whitewash in the most stunning fashion, running in nine tries as they recorded their highest margin of victory over Ireland.

Ireland came into the match with just pride to play for, having already lost the series, but were expected to put up a tough fight following their narrow 22-19 defeat in Christchurch last week. But O’Driscoll knew they were in for a rough ride tonight after New Zealand established a 21-0 lead after 18 minutes.

“We knew that we had to start well and we didn’t and that’s what the All Blacks do — when they get a 15 or 20-point lead they just play their own game and you’re running after them for 80 minutes. We started well last week and that was the impetus we needed. We started terribly this week and they really came at us. To be 21 points down before 20 minutes was up, we were going to be chasing the game and we just made too many errors.”

Ireland coach Declan Kidney admitted his side never recovered from the early errors that allowed the All Blacks to set the tempo of the encounter. “We let them play well. We made turnovers early on, especially in the first quarter, and once New Zealand get ahead of you like that, it gives them free will to play the way they played for the next 60 minutes.

“We were just a bit too tense today at the breakdown, they won all the collisions. It’s quite a simple game, if you’re losing the collisions you’re going to lose the game.”

And Kidney was in no mood to search for the positives of the three-Test tour. “Straight after that defeat, I’m not going to be looking at clutching at straws. I know that there are things that we gained from it. We gained some experience for some of the younger players and they’ll be the stronger for this and if they’re not the stronger they’ll fall by the wayside.”New Zealand captain Richie McCaw was delighted with the way they responded from last week’s performance, paying tribute to Aaron Cruden and Beauden Barrett in particular. “It was great, we really picked up in intensity from last week; that probably sums it up even when we didn’t have the ball.”

“There’s always a danger when you get 20 points up that quickly that you might throw the ball around more than you should, but I was happy with the way Aaron and then Beaudy, when he came on, got the mix right.

“Perhaps we were just a fraction off (last week) and against a team like Ireland you only need to be off by a fraction and they were in the game. There’s the difference at Test level but we were on the job tonight.”

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