Irish coach Declan Kidney scoffs at the suggestion Ireland's confidence levels have dropped contributing to their loss of form lately.
Ireland ended a six-match losing streak beating Samoa 20-10 on Saturday, but the lackluster performance didn't suggest they're back in form yet.
Next up is the clash with New Zealand this weekend and Kidney is unbowed: "The more matches you win, the higher the confidence will be. Our confidence will be a bit better going into Saturday than it was coming into Samoa. I don't think the confidence is that bad," he told the press on Monday.
"Every team that plays New Zealand has to play at the top of their ability to get the better of them," he added. "They're the best team in the world and are motoring well."
Ireland's performance this fall hasn't been helped by low attendances at the new state of the art Aviva Stadium in Dublin, with an estimated 30,955 turning up to see Samoa beaten in a so-so match.
Kidney knows the low turnouts spook his players. "If you arrive at the ground 75 minutes before kick-off and it's half-full, then it's three-quarters full when you're warming up and then it's a full house when you come out, the adrenaline flows more freely," he said.
Food & Drink
Best Irish pub in every state in the United States