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More cut-through needed vs NZ: Schmidt

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 19/11/2016 Angelo Risso

<span style="background-color:#ebebe4;"><span style="color:#777777;">Tadhg&nbsp;Furlong of Ireland is tackled during the international rugby match between Ireland and the All Blacks</span></span> © Phil Walter/Getty Images Tadhg Furlong of Ireland is tackled during the international rugby match between Ireland and the All Blacks Kiwi-born Irish coach Joe Schmidt admits his side just weren't clinical enough in their 21-9 loss to the All Blacks in Dublin.

The Irish enjoyed two-thirds of possession at the Aviva Stadium and were given a platform upon which to strike through 14 All Blacks penalties and two sin-binnings.

But the world champions' defence held firm in an iron-like display, restricting the Irish to just three penalty goals in the 80 minutes.

Efforts to midfielder Malakai Fekitoa, an outstanding Beauden Barrett and Fekitoa again then sealed the northern hemisphere side's fate.

Schmidt told reporters he was disappointed his side couldn't do more after putting five tries on the All Blacks in their surprise 40-29 win two weeks ago in Chicago.

But the loss of playmaker Johnny Sexton and second-five Robbie Henshaw had thrown the side out of shape in attack and nullified their offensive potency.

"We lost a bit of shape, got quite static in attack and they came at us, put us under real pressure," Schmidt said post-match.

"We're frustrated because when you pour so much into a game and don't get the result, and at 14-9, I thought we were a chance.

"You've got to admire the way they threw themselves into the competition."

Irish skipper Rory Best said the key to their record-busting victory in Chicago was aggressively confronting the Kiwis on and off the ball, and his players had failed in that on Saturday.

They would now need to regroup physically and mentally for their final match of the autumn Test series against Australia next week.

"I think when we look back at that (first half), we'll say we didn't attack them enough, but we came out with a bit more intent in the second," the Ulster hooker said.

Schmidt also said that despite the mid-match loss of several team stars, he was pleased to see young guns like Garry Ringrose and Paddy Jackson step up from the bench.

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