We must put Kiwi tie to bed - Trimble

Duncan Bech

ANDREW TRIMBLE has demanded an emphatic response to Ireland's nightmare summer tour when they face South Africa.

The Irish open their Guinness Series at Lansdowne Road on Saturday hoping to halt a run of four successive defeats dating back to England in the Six Nations.

Their darkest hour arrived against New Zealand in the third of June's three-Test series when they were thrashed 60-0 in Hamilton.

"It was a massive disappointment after the tour. It's not a tour that any one of us is proud to have been on," Trimble said.

"There's frustration at getting beaten so badly. It's a long time waiting to put things right.

"It's not a performance we're proud of and it's something we want to put right. It can go one of two ways.


"You can dwell on it and divert down a bad path or you can bounce back from it. Hopefully we can bounce back."

Trimble accepts that Ireland's patchy form, which can range from the sublime to the ridiculous in the space of a week, is a mystery even to themselves.

"We've been up and down over the last few years. The inconsistency showed in the second and third Tests," he said.

"I don't know if we are the team that performed in the second Test or the team that performed in the third Test, but we've shown that we're capable of producing either performance.

"We were very close to beating the All Blacks in the second Test.

"It would be weak minded if we looked back and said we're just not that good.

"Looking at it logically we've produced big performances over the last few years and we know that if we do that we'll get big results."

Gray passed fit for All-Blacks

Scotland second row Richie Gray is "raring to go" for Sunday's Test with New Zealand after proving his fitness.

Gray has not played since Sale Sharks' Heineken Cup clash with Cardiff Blues on October 14 due to an ankle injury, but passed a fitness test after being named in head coach Andy Robinson's starting XV.

Robinson said yesterday: "Richie has trained fully with us this afternoon and is in good spirits. He is raring to go for Sunday's match."