Ireland v New Zealand: Earls gutted as replay gives try the elbow
Keith Earls found it “very frustrating” not to have been awarded a 75th minute try against the All Blacks, with the video verdict — after protracted consideration — being he had not scored.
“I just couldn’t get the ball out of my body. I think my elbow hit the line before the ball which was very unfortunate, but that’s rugby for you — you have bad days and days when you get in,” he said.
Rather than having been outplayed by the New Zealand, Earls thought it was more a case of Ireland contributing to their own downfall.
“I think we beat ourselves,” was his view of the match.
“ I think our skill levels let us down sometimes. When they got turnover ball they’ve great skills. They learn from a young age (because) they do a lot of ball in hand and they don’t make too many mistakes.
“We made mistakes and they capitalised on it.”
Revealing the Ireland’s tails had been up at the interval despite the concession of a try almost on the whistle he said: “We were confident at half-time — that try we gave away just before, we weren’t thinking about it too much.
“We knew we could score against them — we had them rattled at a couple of times.
“Unfortunately we gave them another silly score just after half-time which put them ahead by two or three scores, but they’re a quality side and it’s hard enough to beat them when it’s a draw never mind when you’re behind by a few scores. It’s tough.”
And like most of his Irish team-mates he felt New Zealand got away with a number of infringements, again singling out captain Richie McCaw as a chief culprit.
“It can be frustrating, but their physical presence alone helps them,” Earls said. “I think Richie McCaw around the breakdown likes to do his own thing, but he gets away with it so we’ll not keep doing it.”