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Ireland v New Zealand: We shot ourselves in the foot, admits Ferris

By Niall Crozier

Stephen Ferris admits that New Zealand’s start to the second half was the crucial period of the match.

The Ulster blindside, who had an outstanding game and scored the first try, said: “That period after half-time killed us with two tries.

“That’s what new Zealand do to you. You find yourself two or three points behind, 10 minutes later you’re 15-20 (behind) and we kind of shot ourselves in the foot with a few errors.”

He felt several yellow cards for New Zealand were warranted for killing the ball in the 22 when Ireland threatened.

“If I had been a ref I’d have handed out a couple. It’s the same old faces that are doing it, but they get away with it,” he said.

“They’re good at it, you know. We just couldn’t get that quick final pass inside their 22.”

Although he is confident Ireland can learn as a result of this experience, he admitted that they may have to become a little more streetwise.

“They are good at poaching the ball — legally as well! I thought Richie McCaw did a great job at slowing it down, but it is difficult and (Peter) Stringer was screaming at the ref a couple of times to try and get the ball away a bit earlier.

“It is frustrating, but we’ll work on our rucking this week and hopefully, it’ll not happen next week.”

Revealing that Ireland worked hard in the hope of adding width to their game, Ferris explained how this had helped in the creation of his first-half score.

“We’ve been trying to keep a bit of width in training all week and I’ve been finding myself in the wide channels a bit more with the way we’re trying to play the game,” he said.

“Jamie (Heaslip) stood the defender up for a split second and gave the pass.”

Asked if his look at referee Marius Jonker after scoring was one of guilt, he insisted: “No! I was looking at Jamie to come over and give me a hug.

“It was a fairly flat pass that I received, but I thought Jamie really did time it quite well and I was lucky to squeeze over.”

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