Wednesday 13 December 2017

Paul O'Connell: All Blacks deserve credit for their comeback

Samuel Whitelock, left, and Richie McCaw, New Zealand, in action against Cian Healy, Ireland.
Samuel Whitelock, left, and Richie McCaw, New Zealand, in action against Cian Healy, Ireland.
The Ireland team look on as the New Zealand team perform the Haka ahead of the game.
The Ireland team led by Paul OConnell stand facing the Haka ahead of the game.
The New Zealand team perform the Haka ahead of the game.
Joe Schmidt ahead of the game.
The New Zealand team perform the Haka ahead of the game.
24 November 2013; The New Zealand and Ireland teams during the National Anthem. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
The Ireland team look on as the New Zealand team perform the Haka ahead of the game.
Rory Best, Ireland, breaks through the tackles of Luke Romano, left, and Steven Luatua, New Zealand, on the way to scoring his sides second try.
Maa Nonu, New Zealand, is tackled by Mike Ross, Ireland.
Conor Murray is congratulated by team-mates
Aaron Cruden, New Zealand, is tackled by Jamie Heaslip, Ireland.
Rory Best, Ireland, scores his sides second try.
Conor Murray, Ireland, goes over to score his sides first try.
Paul OConnell, Ireland, goes for the ball in a lineout against Brodie Retallick, New Zealand.
Aaron Cruden, New Zealand, is tackled by Sean OBrien, Ireland.
24 November 2013; Rob Kearney, Ireland, on his way to scoring his side's third try. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Rob Kearney, Ireland, on his way to scoring his sides third try.
Rob Kearney, Ireland, on his way to scoring his sides third try.
Supporters look on as Jonathan Sexton, Ireland, prepares to kick a conversion.
Sean OBrien, Ireland, breaks clear of the tackle of Andrew Hore,
24 November 2013; Ireland's Rory Best is led off the field by Dr. Eanna Falvey after picking up an injury during the first half. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
24 November 2013; Rob Kearney, Ireland, on his way to scoring his side's third try. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
24 November 2013; Ireland's Rob Kearney scores his side's third try despite the attempts of New Zealand's Kieran Read. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
24 November 2013; Ireland's Rory Best receives treatment from Dr. Eanna Falvey after picking up an injury during the first half. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Tommy Bowe, Ireland, catches a high ball ahead of Brodie Retallick, New Zealand.
Cian Healy, Ireland, is tackled by Wyatt Crockett, New Zealand.
Irelands Rob, left, and Dave Kearney, attempt to claim a high ball ahead of Richie McCaw, New Zealand.
Steven Luatua, New Zealand, is tackled by Dave Kearney, Ireland.
Rob Kearney, Ireland, scores his sides third try despite the efforts of Kieran Read, New Zealand.
Cian Healy, Ireland, is tackled by Maa Nonu. New Zealand.
Paul OConnell, Ireland, is tackled by Richie McCaw, New Zealand.
Julian Savea, New Zealand, on his way to scoring his sides first try despite the efforts of Conor Murray, Ireland.
Aaron Cruden, New Zealand, in action against Peter OMahony, right, and Sean OBrien, Ireland.
Ben Smith, New Zealand, is tackled by Paul OConnell, Ireland.
Rob Kearney, Ireland, picks up the ball on his way to scoring his sides third try.
Maa Nonu, New Zealand, is tackled by Jonathan Sexton, Ireland.
Rob Kearney, center, Ireland, is congratulated by team-mates, from left, Jamie Heaslip, Dave Kearney, Isaac Boss and Kevin McLaughlin after scoring his sides third try.
Rob Kearney, second from left, Ireland, is congratulated by team-mates after scoring his sides third try.
Rob Kearney, Ireland, slips through the tackle of Maa Nonu, left, and Ben Smith, New Zealand.
Cian Healy, Ireland, breaks through the challenge of Richie McCaw, New Zealand.
Julian Savea, New Zealand, is tackled by Sean OBrien, Ireland. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin.
Brian ODriscoll, Ireland, speaks with Dr. Eanna Falvey after the half-time whistle.
Sean OBrien, Ireland, is tackled by Andrew Hore, New Zealand.
24 November 2013; Brian O'Driscoll, Ireland, leaves the field injured during the second half. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Ireland supporters wave their flags as the Irish team leave the field after the first half.
Devin Toner, Ireland, wins a lineout from Brodie Retallick, New Zealand. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin.
Brian ODriscoll, Ireland, leaves the field injured during the second half. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin.
Brian ODriscoll, Ireland, is replaced by Luke Marshall during the second half.
Samuel Whitelock, left, and Richie McCaw, New Zealand, in action against Cian Healy, Ireland.
Samuel Whitelock, left, and Richie McCaw, New Zealand, in action against Cian Healy, Ireland.
Aaron Cruden, New Zealand, is tackled by Conor Murray, left, and Gordon DArcy, Ireland.
24 November 2013; Aaron Cruden, New Zealand, is tackled by Conor Murray, left, and Gordon D'Arcy, Ireland. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Aaron Cruden, New Zealand, is tackled by Conor Murray, Ireland. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin.
Devin Toner, Ireland, and Samuel Whitelock, New Zealand, go for the ball in a lineout. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin
Sean Cronin, Ireland, is tackled by Sam Whitelock, New Zealand. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin.
Rob Kearney, Ireland, is tackled by Ryan Crotty, New Zealand. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin.
Irelands Brian ODriscoll is led off the field by Dr. Eanna Falvey, right, and Dr. Jim McShane, left, after picking up an injury.
Irelands Jonathan Sexton reacts after missing a kick in the 74th minute of the game.
Irelands Jonathan Sexton reacts after missing a kick in the 74th minute of the game.
Irelands Jonathan Sexton kicks a penalty in the 74th minute of the game.
Paul OConnell, Ireland, argues with the referee after New Zealand retook their conversion to win the game.
Ireland players after conceeding asecond try.
Jamie Heaslip, Ireland, is tackled by Dane Coles and Owen Franks, top, New Zealand.
Jamie Heaslip, Ireland, is tackled by Dane Coles and Owen Franks, top, New Zealand.
A dejected Brian ODriscoll, left, and Paul OConnell, Ireland, after the game
Irelands Jack McGrath, left, and Paul OConnell, watch as New Zealands last minute conversion goes over the posts to win the game.
24 November 2013; Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll reacts to the TMO of the final New Zealand try that lost the game for Ireland. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
A dejected Kevin McLaughlin, right, and Luke Fitzgerald, Ireland, after the final whistle.
A dejected Dave kearney, left, and Luke Fitzgerald, Ireland, after the final whistle.
A dejected Devin Toner, Ireland, after the final whistle. Guinness Series International
Brian ODriscoll reacts to the TMO of the final New Zealand try that lost the game for Ireland.
A dejected Paul OConnell, Ireland, after the final whistle.
Irelands Brian ODriscoll reacts after the TMO of the final New Zealand try that lost the game for Ireland.
; Irelands Brian ODriscoll reacts to the TMO of the final New Zealand try that lost the game for Ireland.
A dejected Paul OConnell, Ireland after the game. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin.
New Zealands Ryan Crotty goes over to score his sides last minute try despite the attempts of Irelands Conor Murray.
New Zealands Ryan Crotty goes over to score his sides last minute try.
New Zealands Ryan Crotty goes over to score his sides last minute try despite the attempts of Irelands Conor Murray.
Irelands Rory Best following his sides defeat.
Dejected Ireland players, from left, Jamie Heaslip, Paul OConnell and Sean OBrien at the end of the game against the All Blacks in 2013
A dejected Luke Fitzgerald, Ireland, after the final whistle.
A dejected Sean Cronin, Ireland, after the final whistle.
Paul OConnell, Ireland, congratulates New Zealand captain Richie McCaw after the game.
Cormac Byrne

Cormac Byrne

Ireland captain Paul O'Connell was confident that Ireland had a big performance in them but hailed the All Blacks for the never-say-die attitude that saw them snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat.

Ireland led 22-7 at the break thanks to tries from Conor Murray, Rory Best and Rob Kearney but Ryan Crotty's try deep into second half injury-time and Aaron Crudden's conversion, at the second time of asking gave the Kiwis a 22-24 win at the Aviva.

The Irish skipper was disappointed to let a chance to beat New Zealand for the first time slip but paid tribute to New Zealand for the resilience they have shown over an amazing year.

"I think we're well aware of how good we are and of how good we are capable of being," he told RTE.

"We had a great build-up this week. We were very confident going into the game. I was confident thawe were going to mix the accuracy we needed with the intensity we needed and once we did that we showed how good we were.

"It's very disappointing to concede that try with 45 seconds to go we had the ball, we were five points ahead and  in their half and it's a good place to be but it's a testament of their character.

"They've done it a few times this season when they have been under the coash and have turned it around. They stayed calm and produced the winning try and the winning score. It's a credit to them as well.

"We'll look back at it and we'll look at missed chances. We had time when we were in their 22 and their half and we had possession and we needed to convert and we didn't do that.

"You need to make the most of those opportunities."

O'Connell believes Ireland must show this kind of performance on a consistent basis in next year's Six Nations.

"We are an excellent side but we don't always get the balance right," he added

"There have been plenty of performance like this throughout the last two years but we have't capitalised on it.

"It's important that when we get together for the Six Nations that we build on this."

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