Ireland may have lost the first Test against New Zealand by handsome margin and be battling a trio of injuries but lock Donnacha Ryan refuses to be negative ahead of Saturday’s rematch.
The All Blacks eased to a 42-10 win at Eden Park and Ireland later confirmed the match also left back utility Keith Earls with a pectoral injury that will keep him out of the second Test.
Props Cian Healy (shoulder) and Declan Fitzpatrick (buttock muscle) are also short of full fitness following the match and will be monitored this week.
But Ryan has no intention of feeling downbeat with two matches still to play in the series.
“You’ve got to look at it like a (glass) half-full situation and not get discouraged when things go wrong. You have to keep persevering when things go wrong.
“It is important not to drop the head. The world keeps spinning so we’ve got to keep going. Next week will be a bigger challenge again.
“We’ll have a look at what we did, or what we tried to do, last week. We will look forward and try to eradicate the mistakes. Having the familiarity of having the same guys beside you and there for another Test will hopefully help us.
Assessing the positives from the defeat, Ryan found several.
“We turned over the ball five times in New Zealand’s 22 and had eight unforced turnovers too in their half.
“When we did up the intensity we got a good few line breaks. We’ve got to be a lot more clinical at the breakdown.
“It’s about trying to evolve and get smarter every time. Against New Zealand you can’t afford to turn the ball over so easily.”
Earls played at inside centre at the weekend but the versatile Munster back was also providing full-back cover for Rob Kearney.
With him unfit for the the second Test, Ireland have sent for Connacht’s Gavin Duffy.
Team manager Mick Kearney said: “Keith has a tear of one of his pectoral muscles. It showed up during an MRI scan yesterday. He is unavailable for the game at the weekend and his progress will be monitored over the coming days.
“Gavin will arrive in Christchurch on Tuesday and we’ll meet up with him when we arrive on Wednesday.
“He was under consideration and he was on the stand-by list but we felt that Keith has played a fair bit of rugby at full-back so we were adequately covered there.”
Kearney revealed Healy was a major doubt for the next match, though Fitzpatrick seems in better shape.
“Cian [Healy] took a blow to his right shoulder and he has a significant soft tissue injury there,” said Kearney.
“He will be modified training this week with a view to having him right for Saturday. At the moment I would say his chances are 50/50.
“Declan Fitzpatrick has a contusion to his gluteal muscle. The hamstring is okay. He is a concern but the outlook is pretty good for the weekend.”