Kearney rues All Blacks continuity
June 24, 2012
Rob Kearney was yellow-carded during Ireland's 60-0 loss to New Zealand in the third Test in New Zealand © Getty Images
Ireland fullback Rob Kearney was left to rue his side's ability to stop New Zealand's off-loading game that was at the heart of the All Blacks' record 60-0 victory.
The result meant that Ireland return from their three-Test series in New Zealand still searching for their first ever victory over the All Blacks. They came close in the second Test before a late Dan Carter drop-goal gave the hosts a narrow 22-19 win a week after Declan Kidney's side had lost the first Test 42-10.
In the third Test fly-half Aaron Cruden and centre Sonny Bill Williams linked up to devastating effect in Hamilton to set up a nine-try victory for the world champions.
"They all offload in the tackle and that is the strength of their game," Kearney said. "I think that was our biggest weakness, as a team, that we didn't stop their offloads. We know that against New Zealand you have to stop the offloads. We didn't do it tonight and they got a lot of tries from it."
The All Blacks back-three of Israel Dagg and wingers Ben Smith and Hosea Gear all grabbed a try a piece, while Williams touched down for two. A number of opportunities came when Ireland lost the ball in New Zealand's territory, which allowed Richie McCaw's side to counter-attack with devastating effect.
"It is the speed they play at, the intensity that they play at and sheer size as well," Kearney said. "They are bigger than us. That is something we need to address as well. Are we built differently? I don't know."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter
While the Super Rugby season enters the all-important knockout phase, elsewhere pre-season training never looked so enjoyable. We round-up the best snaps in our Week in Pictures
"Our scrums and lineouts are sometimes not that good but our men are very brave." Ken Borland finds that rugby is on the rise in Senegal
Laurie Fisher talks about the Brumbies and Gloucester, and provides revealing thoughts on the player involvement during the glory days in Canberra