Pride salvaged for Ireland - O'Driscoll

Brian O'Driscoll feels Ireland have restored some pride in the jersey

Brian O'Driscoll feels Ireland have restored some pride in the jersey

First published in National Sport News © by

Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll claimed his side restored a large measure of pride, despite suffering a last-minute defeat to New Zealand in Christchurch.

With the scores locked at 19-19 after 79 enthralling minutes, Dan Carter's drop goal had just enough behind it to scrape over Ireland's bar and give the world champions - playing with 14 men at that stage - a 22-19 win.

Ireland's performance was much improved from their 42-10 loss in the first Test, though, and O'Driscoll took heart from that. He said: "We set standards of ourselves and we're trying to be a consistent team. We dipped below those standards last week, individually and collectively."

He added: "The jersey deserved a little bit more from us and we talked about that this week. Trying to restore a bit of that (pride) in the jersey and I think we did manage to do that. We fell at the final hurdle still."

But O'Driscoll admitted it was hard to take solace from running the All Blacks so close.

He added: "It is difficult when you have fought your way back into the game and got level on the board. They were a man down for the last seven or eight minutes.

"It is difficult to take any positives from the performance but I'm sure, when we look back, there will be plenty of them.

"We have another goal for next week and we don't have to finish our season on that (result). We have an opportunity to go to Hamilton and do what, essentially, we failed to do today."

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said: "We probably shouldn't have won but the composure we showed allowed us to do that. That is the sign of a good team.

"The big thing is that we have beaten an Irish side that has, probably, played as good as they could have. We didn't play great."

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