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Page last updated at 17:16 GMT, Saturday, 13 November 2010

Ireland coach Declan Kidney relieved after Ireland win


Kidney targets Ireland improvement

Ireland coach Declan Kidney was relieved as his side edged out Samoa 20-10 but acknowledged that it had been another frustrating home performance.

Kidney described the win as "important" as the Irish ended a run of four straight Test defeats.

"The performance we'll need to work on but you have to give a little bit of credit to Samoa," said Kidney.

"It was a stop-start game. A lot of collapsed scrums. There was frustration there for everyone."

Ireland, who started as 1/66 favourites, struggled to despatch a side positioned 11th in the world rankings and endured a torrid third quarter.

Ronan O'Gara eventually pulled them clear with a 66th-minute try - but it was a far from convincing performance in front of a disappointing 30,955 crowd atAviva Stadium.

"I'm glad Samoa are not in our World Cup group. They're a tough, physical side," added Kidney.

"It was bit of an arm wrestle for long periods of the game, especially in the second half when they had us tied down to our goal-line.

O'Driscoll frustrated despite Ireland win

"We became nervous when they built up some momentum and scored their try.

"It was 13-10 for 10 or 15 minutes with them pressing so I'm sure there were opportunities for them to win."

Kidney agreed that his side, who face New Zealand next weekend, are currently struggling.

"We're not exactly firing on all cylinders to the extent that we're probably turning over a bit more ball than we want to," said Kidney.

"But we're having a go at it and if you don't try things you won't learn. We're trying to play with the ball in hand."

Kidney refused to lay any blame for his team's struggles on New Zealand referee Keith Brown, who found fault with the Irish scrum on several occasions.

"The referee refereed the game the way that he has been instructed.

"We need to work around everything and be the best side that we can be.


"It wasn't a day for the backs. It was a roll up the sleeves stuff, elbows to elbows in the forwards.

"Our ball retention needs to improve although our field position was a little bit better today."

Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll also attempted to take the positives from his team's victory.

"It was frustrating but it would be more frustrating if the score was the reverse.

"We had to graft it out. Sometimes Test matches aren't a thing of beauty.

"You don't always get the games the way you want them and you have got to deal with it. Thankfully, we dealt with it well."

We should have won that game

Samoa captain Mahonri Schwalger

Samoa captain Mahonri Schwalger admitted his pride at the Pacific Nations Cup holders' performance was tempered by his belief they should have won.

"We came on this tour with the attitude that we can compete with the top teams in the world," said the Taranaki hooker.

"We went out there and gave it everything we had. We should have won that game.

"(But) I'm proud of what my boys did out there today. Now we have to build on that performance."

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see also
Ireland 20-10 Samoa
13 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Irish to face strong Samoa team
12 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Kidney accepts blame for defeat
09 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Connacht 26-22 Samoa
09 Nov 10 |  Connacht
Court's gamble paying off
11 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Ireland 21-23 South Africa
06 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union

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