Angry Irish hang tough ahead of second test

Last updated 05:00 14/06/2012
Greg Feek
KIRK HARGREAVES/The Press
HARD TIMES: Former Crusaders and All Blacks prop Greg Feek takes a look at the Christ Church Cathedral in the city's central red-zone yesterday. Feek is Ireland's scrum coach.

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Former All Blacks prop Greg Feek had his hard hat back on in his return to Christchurch yesterday.

The ex-Crusader might need it on Saturday night too, at AMI Stadium, if the Irish scrum he coaches gets another touch-up by the All Blacks.

But Ireland are confident three frontrowers will be available for the second test.

Assistant-coach Gert Smal said, prior to the team leaving Auckland, that props Cian Healy, Mike Ross and Declan Fitzpatrick should be fit for selection.

Centre Keith Earls is the only player unavailable. Fullback Gavin Duffy, who plays for Connacht, has flown out to bolster backline resources.

The Irish were thrashed 42-10 at Eden Park and Smal said the tourists were feeling frustrated and angry at their performance.

"There is a fair amount of that [anger]," the South African told the Irish Independent.

"The guys are very disappointed with the way they played. The turnovers that we gave, we can't afford that against this quality side, kicking the ball away – it is about how you play the game tactically in their half, to give yourself a best chance to score tries.

"It's not a case that we don't have it. I think we have got it.

"We always try to see how, as a small team, you have to be more technically and tactically aware to see how you can outwit your opposition in some way and the Irish are very good at that.

"One thing I like about the Irish is they've got a lot of grunt and they won't stand back for big guys. They have a huge amount of confidence in their abilities.

"Last Saturday showed the massive difference between provincial rugby and international rugby. It's 15 to 20 per cent higher."

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- The Press

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