Ireland’s Declan Kidney searches for positives after South Africa loss

Ireland's Declan Kidney prefer to look at the positives after surrendering a lead to suffer a 16-12 loss to South Africa

Declan Kidney did his best to focus on the positives despite watching Ireland surrender a nine-point lead against South Africa in Dublin.

Kidney sent out a new-look team missing the names that have dominated Ireland’s team sheets for the past decade with Brian O’Driscoll and Paul O’Connell among those missing.

But things started well with Jonathan Sexton kicking Ireland into a 12-3 lead by half-time although he did miss a further penalty before the break.

It was a different story however after the break as the Springboks responded in typically powerful fashion with a series of forward drives resulting in Irish skipper Jamie Heaslip being sin-binned as the hosts defended desperately on their own line.

Without their captain Ireland wilted and Ruan Pienaar’s try and Pat Lambie’s conversion cut the margin to two points.

As the visitors took control, two more Lambie penalties proved enough to edge the Springboks to a 16-12 victory.

But Kidney refused to focus on the negatives of defeat.

“We were going OK until half-time but Test matches always have about four of five different parts to play and South Africa got their mauling game going, they smothered us a lot in the second half and we found it difficult to get going,” said Kidney.

“They got a good roll on the maul and instead of letting them walk over we went in to make them work hard but the referee decided it was a yellow card.

“We won’t make excuses. We have good players here now so we just need to learn from it, there a little bit of experience that we need as well then too.

“There’s a lot of inexperience there and I think a lot of them stood up. We’ll have to see how guys repair after this match and then pick the best team for next week.”

© Sportsbeat 2012

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