Ireland skipper Brian O'Driscoll salutes dominant All Blacks

Ireland were beat 42-10 by New Zealand in the first Test in Auckland
Ireland were beat 42-10 by New Zealand in the first Test in Auckland

Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll admitted New Zealand showed exactly why they are the best team in the world in Saturday's first Test in Auckland.

"For a team that had not played since the World Cup final, that was a good standard," said O'Driscoll after his side's 42-10 defeat.

"We started OK, but they played with a very fast tempo and we did not slow their ruck ball down enough.

"It was difficult to defend against them and you're chasing shadows a bit."

Ireland face two more Tests against the awesome Kiwis - next Saturday, 16 June in Christchurch, and a week later in Hamilton.

O'Driscoll conceded: "We have a huge amount to work on but we have got two more chances, two more cracks at it.

"They bring a real intensity and great tempo and try to keep the ball in play as much as they can.

"For some of their scores we didn't help ourselves, but they also constructed a few as well. They were worthy winners."

Ireland coach Declan Kidney conceded the All Blacks' ability to punish mistakes with penalties and tries had drawn them away from their gameplan as the game progressed.

Kidney has injury concerns over props Declan Fitzpatrick and Cian Healy and said Mike Ross, who missed the first Test because of a hamstring injury, would need to be assessed again before deciding whether a replacement should be sent for.

"Cian got a knock in the shoulder so we will have to look at that and see how it goes in the next 24 hours," said Kidney.

"We will have to see how Mike Ross, too, is holding up and Declan, obviously, pulled up with a tight hamstring.

"Other bangs and knocks are what you would expect so nobody is ruled out. Keith Earls' shoulder is a little bit sore too but I could give you names of half a dozen lads that are like that too."

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen was happy with the All Blacks' display.

"We started the week with one purpose, and that was to have a performance we could be proud of, and we have got to be proud of what we did under the circumstances of first time coming together," he said.

"But there is still a lot we can work on. There were a couple of tries we blew."

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