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‘This is not a week to be feeling sorry for yourself – there is history to be made’

Peter O’Mahony believes Ireland can square the series by winning in Dunedin this Saturday.

O'Mahony says Ireland can't have self-pity.
O'Mahony says Ireland can't have self-pity.

ONCE MORE WITH feeling. After failing to make history in Auckland last Saturday, Peter O’Mahony and Ireland are focussed on doing so this weekend in Dunedin.

With so much of last weekend’s build-up focussing on the 28th anniversary of the All Blacks’ previous defeat in Eden Park, this week’s sequel has lacked a headline – until O’Mahony spoke earlier this morning that is.

This Irish team remain on a mission to make a name for themselves having never won against the All Blacks in New Zealand; indeed there have been only six occasions when New Zealand have been defeated in their 46 appearances in Dunedin.

 “It is not the week to be feeling sorry for yourself,” said O’Mahony. “This is another opportunity for us as a squad to show what we can do.”

They did so in patches last week. A fine opening quarter preceded a disastrous second one. While the second half was spirited, it was also immaterial, in the sense the game had been decided by then. The series, however, remains alive – for now.

“We showed some patches of how we can perform last weekend,” said O’Mahony, “so the challenge for us now is putting it together across a bigger period of the game. They will have their purple patches but our challenge is to have a bit more consistency.”

peter-omahony O'Mahony in action in last week's first test. Source: Photosport/Brett Phibbs/INPHO

In what way?

“Well, we just have got to hold onto the ball a little better, be a little more patient; we certainly have got to give ourselves more of a chance with regard to cutting out the silly penalties we conceded last weekend.

“Set-piece wise we lost a handful of lineouts, a couple of scrum penalties; they are areas that we have to (get right) against a team that has their quality. You want to be denying them that access. They are the areas we need to work on.”

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When it does work, Ireland too have the capacity to look a decent team.

“It always has to be one of our best performances when it comes to beating the All Blacks. They are the very best in the world. You can’t have parts of your game that are strong and parts that aren’t. It takes a big performance to beat a quality team.

“It is cup rugby; there is no beating about the bush, either. Ireland have never won over here, so a series win, with history to be made, it is all on the line for us.”

About the author:

Garry Doyle  / reports from Dunedin

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