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