Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt admitted that lifting his charges for their series decider against South Africa in Port Elizabeth will be a big task.
The Springboks fought back from a 19-3 deficit at half-time of Saturday’s second Test in Johannesburg to secure a 32-26 victory thanks to second half tries from Ruan Combrinck, Warren Whiteley, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Damian de Allende.
“The players are certainly disappointed,” said Schmidt.
“They’re fairly tired in that changing room. Whenever you get the win and get the result, it’s always a lot easier to bounce back even if it’s a physically tiring match.
“It’ll take us a couple of days probably mentally to get over the anguish of surrendering the lead we had and, at the same time, trying to work our way back to being fit enough to train fully and build towards next weekend’s Test match.”
Despite the nature of his side’s loss,Ireland captain Rory Best feels that there is still plenty to play on Saturday with the series level at 1-1.
“It’s incredibly frustrating and disappointing, but we know now that it’s one-all,” he said.
“We go to Port Elizabeth with a chance to win a Test series over here.
“I think the important thing over the next 24 hours is that we have to take this loss on the chin, you sometimes have to let these losses dwell in you a little bit and come out the other side stronger.
“We’ll look back and I’m sure there’s a lot of boys in that changing room who won’t be looking forward to the review come Monday morning.
“But it’s something that we know as a squad and a team that that’s what makes you stronger, it’s learning from that and knowing that, if we get ourselves in that position next week, we don’t make the same errors we did this week.
“It’s going to be a big investment for us, but ultimately we came here to win a Test series and we’re in with a shout of doing that.
“We’ll hurt for a little bit, then we’ll dust ourselves down and we’ll take a big stride forward to try and improve the last quarter next week.”