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

Stephen Ferris says Ireland can beat the All Blacks

Autumn internationals: Ireland v New Zealand
Venue: Aviva Stadium Date: Saturday, 20 November Kick-off: 1730 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC Two, BBC Radio Ulster MW & BBC Sport Website

Stephen Ferris
Ferris says there has been an over-reaction to recent Irish displays

Stephen Ferris insists Ireland are convinced they can make history by beating the All Blacks for the first time this weekend.

A draw in 1973 is Ireland's best result in the 23 games between the countries and Declan Kidney's side go into Saturday's contest struggling for form.

But Ulster and Lions flanker Ferris remains upbeat.

"We believe we can play New Zealand week in, week out and beat them," insisted Ferris.

"That's the spirit of the Irish team. We have proved we are a world class team over the last couple of years.

"We have a few results in the last few months that haven't gone our way.

We just need to hold onto the ball and get our set-piece firing

Stephen Ferris

"We just need to beat somebody like New Zealand to show the world we are capable of mixing it with the best.

"This Ireland team has come a lot further in the past two years.

"We just need to hold onto the ball and get our set-piece firing, then we are a completely different side."

Ireland have faced plenty of criticism in response to a slump in form.

So far this month their play has lacked conviction, their set piece has misfired and their front five have struggled.

It would take an amazing upset for New Zealand to be humbled and a heavy defeat at the Aviva Stadium would leave the Irish desperately needing to beat Argentina to escape an dreadful autumn.

Ferris, however, believes that there has been an over-reaction to Ireland's recent results.


"I definitely think there has been a lot of negativity. Some of it I don't think is right," he said.

"We were beaten by a couple of points by South Africa, the world champions, and it was difficult game against Samoa.

"We hit the post with a conversion to draw with South Africa and gave away an intercept try.

"We weren't that far away from beating the world champions.

"If you beat Samoa by 50 points, everybody thinks that you should have beaten them by 60.

"Personally, I'm feeling great. We've been great as a team over the last couple of years. Everybody has stuck together," he said.

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see also
Ryan three-week ban for stamping
16 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Ireland select Sexton to face NZ
18 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Kidney relieved after Ireland win
13 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
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

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Planet Rugby Preview: Ireland v New Zealand - 4 hrs ago Ireland make 11 changes - 7 hrs ago
Birmingham Evening Mail Kidney offers second chance - 8 hrs ago
MSN UK Ireland v All Blacks: Teams - 8 hrs ago
Yahoo! UK and Ireland Eurosport Sexton and Reddan start for Ireland - 10 hrs ago


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