Captain Brian O’Driscoll admitted he was ‘embarrassed’ after his team failed to score in a 60-0 humiliation against world champions New Zealand.
Ireland suffered their heaviest loss ever to the All-Blacks in the third and final test of their summer tour when the sides met in Hamilton.
New Zealand made it three-nil for the test series with two tries each Sonny Bill Williams and Sam Cane in a record breaking win that saw the home side 29-0 ahead at half-time.
By full-time the World Cup winners had amassed nine tries and O’Driscoll was dazed and confused to say the least.
He said: “You get sick of that scoreline pretty quickly. It is a difficult one to take.
“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 and, as a result, we weren’t able to put together many phases. There was an amount of unforced errors on top of that.”
After running New Zealand to within three points a week earlier, Irish hopes were high going into the game but it wasn’t to be as the All-Blacks turned on the power.
O’Driscoll added: “I can’t remember all of their scores but they didn’t have to work too hard for a lot of them.
“It is difficult to look back on other performances by New Zealand against Ireland and think of a better one.”
Coach Declan Kidney defended his players and his own role and said: “I have absolutely no doubt that the Irish players can go on and challenge for top prizes.
“It is an honour 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.”
Food & Drink
An Irish recipe repertoire essential - simple delicious colcannon