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LionsWatch: Ireland youngsters impress in titanic Dublin battle

LionsWatch: Ireland youngsters impress in titanic Dublin battle

Ireland needed to show more in attack to beat the All Blacks according to skipper Rory Best after they went down 21-9 in Dublin.

"I think we were a little bit disappointed that – the big thing that came out of Chicago was we had attacked with and without the ball, but when we look back at that we'll feel that we didn't attack them enough."

Ireland needed to show more in attack to beat the All Blacks according to skipper Rory Best after they went down 21-9 in Dublin.

A fortnight after beating New Zealand in Chicago, racking up 40 points, Ireland found scoring tries harder to come by, eventually having to settle for three penalties.

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It was still a titanic battle, but three converted tries from the All Blacks – two by Malakai Fekitoa and one by Beauden Barrett – proved the difference.

And Best – who again led from the front – admitted that it was in attack that Ireland needed to be more clinical.

He said: “I think we were a little bit disappointed that – the big thing that came out of Chicago was we had attacked with and without the ball, but when we look back at that we'll feel that we didn't attack them enough.

“We had a calm talking-to from the coaches and came out with a bit more intent in the second half.”

For the second straight game against the All Blacks, Josh van der Flier entered the fray early – replacing CJ Stander midway through the first half.

Again the young flanker impressed but he admitted that Ireland’s execution needed to be better to make it two in a row against New Zealand.

He said: “They got off to a good start, a try-scoring start during the first long play of the game. From then on you'll be playing a different team if they get into the lead. The bounce of the ball probably wasn't there for us as much as it was in Chicago. We just have to focus on the things that we can control. 

“We could have been better and executed better when we got our chances.

“We lost the ball a good few times. The accuracy was probably down. That's obviously disappointing, but there are positives to take from the performance. Their defence was good and we still managed to get into their 22 so many times.

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“You never really know how you'll be at that level until you've played it so from that perspective it's good to finally play against teams like that. 

“I know I played against England last year but doing it once, you want to see if it was a once-off or if you can stand up at that level. There were positives to take from it but I had a few sloppy moments. A bit to work on.”

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