Declan Kidney’s men ended up third in this year’s Six Nations after a crushing 30-9 defeat to England at Twickenham in the final week of the Championship.
With three test matches against the reigning World Cup champions coming up in June an improvement will be needed sooner rather than later.
And the 28-year-old Bowe, who ran in five tries in this year’s Six Nations, admits that the daunting prospect of the All Blacks will need to inspire a response.
“We’re really going to have to pick ourselves up if we’re to avoid being made a joke of in New Zealand,” said the Ospreys winger.
“We’re very disappointed and that performance against England was a complete let-down. We know we’re better than that.
“We’ll need to have a look at ourselves because it’s not good enough. That defeat has left a very sour taste in our mouths and it was a very quiet changing room.”
In all Ireland lost twice, to Wales and to England, as well as throwing away a 17-6 half-time lead against the France before eventually clinging on for a draw.
And Bowe insists that as long as they can iron out their inconsistencies some good results should not be too far away.
“Consistency is the problem that is letting us down. We have shown in the past that we are a top team and against England we should have been playing for a championship or a Grand Slam,” he added.
“We were ahead against Wales despite not playing that well and we were ahead against France until a bad 20-minute spell in the second half cost us the campaign.
“I hate saying we’re not far off but at times we’ve shown that we’re better than these teams and are good enough to compete. I don’t know if it’s in our heads, we’ve just switched off at times. It’s something we must look at.”
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