24 May, 14:08
The Irish Rugby Supporters Club is delighted to announce that tickets for the GUINNESS Series 2013 will go on sale on ticketmaster.ie at 10am on Thursday, May 30.
One of the most heartening statistics for the Irish management to come out of last weekend's first Test is the fact that the All Blacks managed just two turnovers at the breakdowns.
Against an openside flanker of the calibre of New Zealand skipper Richie McCaw, that stat will certainly give the Irish back row unit of Neil Best, David Wallace and Denis Leamy some encouragement for Saturday's second Test in Auckland.
However it will also rile the All Blacks into retribution. The Irish managed to secure their own ball when it went to ground, as well as slowing down much of the hosts' second phase possession and crucially keeping their backline out of the game for long periods.
Jerome Kaino, who came off the bench to make his debut in the first Test, gave credit to the Irish forwards for their performance.
The Blues flanker said: "It was a messy game out there and turnovers were pretty hard to get. I think you've got to give it to the Irish team, the way they cleaned out and stayed on their feet and kept us out of the game. They have big, strong forwards and they are hard to get on the ground.
"We coughed up a lot of ball and that caused the loose forwards to come in and play a tighter role. We had a lot more guys in the ruck than we wanted to," added Kaino.
"There was a lot of endeavour but our execution wasn't coming off. I think you could put it down to rustiness and our combinations weren't as good as we'd want them to be. Hopefully that rustiness is gone and we'll gel a lot better this weekend."
...Andrew Trimble cannot prevent New Zealand winger Doug Howlett from getting in for the opening try of the first Test...
Whilst admitting that the All Blacks "were rusty", Hurricanes number eight Rodney So'oialo, who won his 21st Test cap last weekend, was also quick to give the Irish pack some plaudits.
"They carried their ball really well and congratulations to them. The Irish team played really well. So it's a matter of us working harder to try to turn that ball over.
"We have to try to retain the ball better and in the final 20 minutes, we started to come into our game. We are starting to get in there now and we are getting our accuracy right."