‘Ireland still hurting’ – Toner

Date published: June 21 2016

Ireland’s players are still coming to terms with their defeat to the Springboks in Johannesburg on Saturday.

That was the word from their second-row Devin Toner who admitted that the nature of their loss was still difficult to process.

Ireland raced into a 19-3 half-time lead, but the Boks found their mojo after the interval and won the second half 29-7 to claim a 32-26 victory which levelled the three-Test series after two Tests.

“I wouldn’t say we’re over it,” Toner told the The42.ie in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.

“We’re still going through the footage, we’re still looking at the video, we’re still kind of hurting over it but I think training went alright today.

“I think we’re very much still in recovery mode, I think there’s still a lot of sore bodies out there so I think we’re going to try and build our way into the week and try and get back into for Thursday and Friday and try and peak for Saturday because we know that we should have won that.

“We were pretty much ahead and it was just the last 15/20 minutes that we let it slip so we’re not over it to be honest, no.”

With a series victory up for grabs in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, Toner knows Ireland can’t allow their hosts to continue where they left off in the Johannesburg Test.

“I suppose we’re expecting them to play as they played in that last quarter,” he added.

“I think they’ll have a lot of confidence from those last 20 minutes.

“We can’t let them do that again – we can’t let them run at us, we can’t let them get over the gainline as easily as we did. So, we’re going to have to take confidence from our performance in the first game and the first half.

“We fell off some tackles so basically it comes down to physicality, getting the shoulder in and getting that first-up contact. Once you start falling off tackles and once you start letting them get over the gainline, that’s what happens.

“So, I don’t know whether it was a lapse in concentration or lads were tired, but I think it was just that last 15/20 minutes kind of killed us.”