Schmidt reflects on tough loss

Date published: November 20 2016

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt hailed New Zealand’s defence as his side fell short in Dublin on Saturday, losing 21-9 in a thrilling game.

Looking to repeat their Chicago heroics, the Irish gave everything at the Aviva Stadium but the All Blacks managed to keep them try-less.

New Zealand in contrast struck when it mattered as tries from Malakai Fekitoa (2) and Beauden Barrett left Schmidt in a reflective mood.

“When we did crack it we undid ourselves a few times,” he told Sky Sports.

“You’ve got to give credit for the resilience of the All Blacks, they defended admirably and they are just so dangerous on the rebound.

“There were a couple of calls that were pretty tough but we don’t get to make those, we’ve got to try and build on what we did deliver today and be the best we can next week.”

He added: “Maybe we should have done better as a result but testament to their defence, they made it tough for us.”

It was a game that could have gone either way and Schmidt revealed that his players were hurting in the dressing rooms at full-time.

“There’s some real disappointment from our guys just because we know how good this team we are playing against is and we felt we were in the game,” he said.