No joke for Bowe

Lions wing Tommy Bowe admits Ireland must make drastic improvements if they are to avoid becoming a laughing stock this summer. [more]

No joke for Bowe

Lions wing Tommy Bowe admits Ireland must make drastic improvements if they are to avoid becoming a laughing stock this summer.

Ireland were beaten 30-9 by England on Saturday as they finished their 6 Nations campaign on an almighty low.

And with a three-Test series with World Champions New Zealand to come this June, Bowe is fully aware that a similarly disappointing performance could lead to an even bigger hammering Down Under.

"We're really going to have to pick ourselves up if we're to avoid being made a joke of in New Zealand," said Bowe.

"We're very disappointed and that performance against England was a complete let-down. We know we're better than that.

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"We'll need to have a look at ourselves because it's not good enough. That defeat has left a very sour taste in our mouths and it was a very quiet changing room."

Ireland’s assault on the 6 Nations crown they last won in 2009 was an inconsistent one and it is that fact that worries Bowe the most.

After coming within seconds of beating Grand Slam winners Wales in Dublin in their tournament opener, Bowe and co produced a powerful second-half showing to thrash Italy before leading France 17-6 after 50 minutes in Paris.

But Ireland let their lead slip at the Stade de France and, although they bounced back with a comprehensive 32-14 win over Scotland a week later, they saved their worst until last with a below-par display in London.

"Consistency is the problem that is letting us down," added Bowe, who scored five tries in five games to finish as top try scorer in this year’s competition.

"We have shown in the past that we are a top team and against England we should have been playing for a championship or a Grand Slam.

"We were ahead against Wales despite not playing that well and we were ahead against France until a bad 20-minute spell in the second half cost us the campaign.

"I hate saying we're not far off but at times we've shown that we're better than these teams and are good enough to compete. I don't know if it's in our heads, we've just switched off at times. It's something we must look at."

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