Irish to come out 'all guns blazing' in last test
The Irish were refusing to rise to All Black Steve Hansen's bait yesterday, claiming they have more improvement in them ahead of the third test in Hamilton on Saturday.
After the 22-19 loss in Christchurch, Hansen claimed the Irish had played as well as they could, but not according to Irish lock Dan Tuohy.
"That's just one person's opinion, isn't it really," Tuohy said. "I certainly don't think that was the best we can play. There was a lot of mistakes, stuff we left out there."
Ireland reintroduced themselves to Queenstown yesterday after enjoying themselves so much there during last year's World Cup.
The wounds of missing out on what would have been just the second draw against the All Blacks were still fresh yesterday for Tuohy.
"Hugely disappointed," he said. "We worked extremely hard to put ourselves in a strong position in the game, but I think there's a collective feeling amongst the fellows that we didn't quite close out on it.
"It's very much another week, an onus on turning it around quickly and getting back on the horse as it were, and trying to beat them this weekend. I was much more happy with my performance this weekend than the one before, but I think from myself and as a group of players there's more to come, so there's one last push now for the last game of the season for us – all guns blazing."
Ireland will name their team for the third test on Thursday before flying to Hamilton, with skipper Brian O'Driscoll and prop Mike Ross expected to be available for selection.
After missing the second test with a pectoral injury, second five-eighth Keith Earl's rehab was progressing well and he could be available.
Jamie Heaslip's broken right index finger will be reassessed later in the week but he won't be considered for the third test, while Gordon D'Arcy has returned home with a recurrence of a calf problem.
Tuohy said the Irish wouldn't be lacking for motivation in Hamilton despite the test being a dead rubber.
"I don't think it's too hard. We worked extremely hard and as a group we don't really want to sign off the season coming off the back of three defeats, so we are desperate to right the wrongs from the last two weeks."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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