Tommy Bowe says Ireland will not panic after South Africa defeat

Tommy Bowe
Tommy Bowe won his 50th cap against South Africa

Tommy Bowe says Ireland are refusing to panic despite slumping to their worst losing sequence for 14 years.

The Irish went down 16-12 to South Africa in Dublin to take their run of consecutive Test defeats to five.

"There really isn't a feeling that the team is going through a difficult period at the moment," said Bowe.

"There's been a lot of confidence in the squad over the last couple of weeks, certainly with the work we've been doing in training."

"Everyone was upbeat and was looking forward to South Africa.

Ruan Pienaar scores for South Africa

"I felt that we'd go after them and win - we'd targeted this match. Having lost it we'll have to reassess that.

"It was a disappointing defeat because we had set ourselves up perfectly in the first half.

"We've worked so hard as a team to build a bond, get the intensity and accuracy up.

"It showed at times against South Africa, but when it counted in the second half we weren't able to pull it out."

The result raises the stakes for the showdown against Argentina on 24 November, with crucial IRB world ranking points at stake ahead of the World Cup pool draw on 3 December.

Ireland led 12-3 at the interval but were overpowered in the second half as South Africa inflicted a fifth successive Test defeat.

The Irish had won three of their last four Tests against South Africa and knew they had wasted a great chance of achieving another victory over their southern hemisphere opponents.

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Kidney refuses to make excuses

Bowe, who won his 50th cap on Saturday, remains confident that Ireland have the personnel to regroup after yesterday's setback.

"The likes of Chris Henry and Mike McCarthy stepped up to the plate, they were outstanding," said the Ulster winger.

"It didn't feel as though there was any real drop around the pitch because of the guys we were missing. No one looked out of place.

"There's been a lot of talk about the guys who are missing, but that will happen and there must be a new breed of player coming through.

"A lot of the guys really put their hand up yesterday and it's disappointing we didn't get the win to show for it.

"We're looking forward to Fiji next week and then obviously we have a massive match against Argentina. It's a case of getting the job done."

While Fiji are the next opponents in Saturday's non-cap international at Thomond Park, it is the showdown with Argentina that will dominate the management's thinking.

At stake are ranking points crucial to next month's draw for the 2015 World Cup with defeat to the Pumas, convincing winners against Wales yesterday, potentially dropping Ireland into the third tier of seeds.

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