Sports Digest: Ireland's rugby team are black and blue
IRELAND’S rugby stars were at a loss to explain their record 60-0 hammering at the hands of the All-Blacks in the final test of the summer tour series in Hamilton on Saturday.
Captain Brian O’Driscoll labeled it embarrassing and full-back Rob Kearney all but agreed as New Zealand won the series 3-0 just a week after Ireland should have held onto a draw in the second game in Christchurch.
“For us, as a national team, it probably hasn’t been that great a season. A couple of games could have gone our way,” said Kearney as the Ireland players prepared for the summer break.
“I look at the Wales game at home and France away, and last week against the All-Blacks as well. All three of them went against us but that’s sport and we have to move on.”
The world champions ran in nine tries in all in a game that was all but decided in the firs 20 minutes.
O’Driscoll pulled no punches when he spoke to the media directly after Saturday’s record defeat.
“You get sick of that scoreline pretty quickly. It is a difficult one to take today,” he said.
“The second you give them two or three scores by 20 minutes they are a different team. They start to play with a buffer -- they are a bit like France that way.
“They dominated us at the breakdown. They smashed us today and, as a result, we weren’t able to put together many phases. There was an amount of unforced errors on top of that.”
Coach Declan Kidney tried to be positive about the future for the players humbled in Hamilton.
“I have absolutely no doubt that the players here can go on and challenge for top prizes,” he said.
Asked about his own future, he said: “It is an honor to coach your country. I’ve been asked to coach my country and I will continue to do so.
“Right now it hurts. It is easy to hop on the bandwagon right now. We’ve found out a lot of things about ourselves but we will look at that in the off-season.”
PAUL McGinley is looking forward to the sell-out Irish Open at Royal Portrush after fine play on Sunday earned him a tied third finish at the BMW International in Germany last weekend.
“Royal Portrush is one of my favorite courses in the world and I’ve played it a lot over the years, I am really excited about going back there for the Irish Open,” said McGinley.
In other golf news, Portrush native Alan Dunbar warmed-up for the Irish Open on his home course this week with victory in the British Amateur Championship at Troon on Sunday, a win that earns him an entry into the British Open and the Augusta Masters.
CRICKET: Ireland’s scheduled one-day international against Australia in Belfast on Saturday was rained off and abandoned after just 10 overs . . .
BOXING: Joe Ward’s bid to gain a wildcard entry to the London Olympics has finally been rejected by amateur boxing’s governing body . . .
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