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Kidney keeping calm

Declan Kidney denies Ireland's confidence levels are beginning to plummet amid their loss in form.

The Irish ended their six-match losing streak when they overcame Samoa 20-10 on Saturday, but the performance did little to suggest they have turned a corner.

Speaking ahead of this weekend's clash with New Zealand, Kidney said: "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."

New Zealand enter Saturday's match invigorated by their 49-3 demolition of Scotland, and Kidney accepts they are formidable opposition.

"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 cause this autumn has not been helped by poor attendances at Aviva Stadium, with only 30,955 turning up to see Samoa beaten in such unconvincing fashion.

Kidney insists the small crowds inevitably have an effect on the 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.

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