Smal: Ireland will have a go
Ireland may be ranked outsiders, being offered at anything from 12-1 to 20-1, but they are not going to 'roll over and play dead against New Zealand
Ireland may be ranked outsiders, being offered at anything from 12-1 to 20-1, but they are not going to 'roll over and play dead against New Zealand on Saturday.
The All Blacks sent out a sharp reminder of why they are World Cup champions, when they demolished the Irish tourists 42-10 in the first of three Tests in Auckland last Saturday.
However, the men from the Emerald Isle made it clear that they are not just going to stand back and admire the Kiwis when the two teams go head-to-head in Christchurch this coming Saturday.
Ireland's forwards coach, former Springbok assistant Gert Smal, admitted that they are up against a team from a country that has vastly superior depth in talent than Ireland.
But the Irish spirit will more than make up for what they lack in size and skills.
“One thing I like about the Irish is they've got a lot of grunt and they won't stand back to big guys,” said Smal.
Smal said he didn't know where New Zealand got their players from, but there was an amazing amount of talent seemingly on call for the selectors.
"This one [team] is very special I think," he said of the current All Black squad.
"But in saying that we're not going to sit back and see what they can do.
"We also can play a little bit and we also showed two years ago that even with 14 men we can score two tries if we keep our possession and have a go at them, and that's what we're going to do on Saturday."
A battalion of the Irish players took a limited part, or were inactive, at training this week - following last week's bruising encounter with the Kiwis.
While it was “not ideal” the plucky Irish will rise to the challenge on Saturday.
“We're not happy with where we are, and the amount of turnovers that we had, especially in the high-attacking areas," Smal said of the first Test.
"If we can get that right and get our efforts spot on and get into their half and manipulate them in such a way that we can get into what we call their 22 area, then we've got a big chance to score tries.
“It sounds impossible but I don't think it's impossible.
"The beauty about this game is the strength in your character and what you're all about, and the players spoke about that during the course of the week, and you know you can give yourself the best chance to beat them as well, even if it's in Christchurch.
"So we're not going to go and see if we can hold them, we're going to attack them.”