5 Dec, 14:49
The Ireland Under-19 squad to face Australia Schools at Ravenhill on Saturday week (December 14) has been announced.
Speaking at the post match press conference Wood said he felt that they had gotten themselves into a position to win the game but then couldn't "put them away".The Irish captain continued, "It's particularly disappointing to lose after establishing that 21-7 lead early in the second half and all the lads are disappointed. But it means we have to drive ourselves harder to be able to compete at this level. They (All Blacks) played for 80 minutes and that's what we have to do. We have moved our game on but there's a lot more work to do."
Assistant coach Eddie O'Sullivan felt that one difference between the sides was that "they attack one on one very well and they manage to free ball in the tackle. In the first half we defended very well but there was a period in the second half when we weren't attacking the ball in defence and that's when the damage was done."
Warren Gatland felt that the loss of Shane Horgan and John Hayes didn't help nor did the decision late in the opening half to award a penalty when Norm Maxwell clearly interfered with a scoring pass. "That was a vital decision really," Gatland said, " we could have gone 20 points up at the break, instead it was 16-7 and he (Maxwell) was probably fortunate to avoid being sin-binned."
But there was reason to be proud of this Ireland side and plenty to look forward in the new year.