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Page last updated at 16:31 GMT, Friday, 19 November 2010

Bowe says Ireland can topple NZ

Autumn internationals: Ireland v New Zealand
Venue: Aviva Stadium Date: Saturday, 20 November Kick-off: 1730 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC Two, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio Ulster MW & BBC Sport website

Tommy Bowe
Tommy Bowe was one of Ireland's try-scorers against South Africa

Ireland winger Tommy Bowe says his side must be at their best if they are to beat New Zealand in Dublin on Saturday.

"There's a lot of excitement because New Zealand are playing some great rugby at the moment - it's a massive challenge for us," said Bowe.

"The intensity of training has stepped up a notch and we know that if we want to compete against these boys we need to be at the top of our game.

"New Zealand like to play at a certain intensity and we must match that."

"We need to be at our best for 80 minutes and go up a level and that's what we've been working on.

"There's a definite confidence that we have the ability to beat them," added the Ospreys winger.

New Zealand are overwhelming favourites to successfully negotiate the next assignment on their grand slam tour when they swagger into Dublin.

The world's best team and Tri-Nations champions have never lost to Ireland in 23 matches dating back to 1905 and it would take a seismic upset for that to change on Saturday.

Facing them is a team whose confidence is brittle, with a defeat by South Africa and an unconvincing win over Samoa posing some difficult questions.

We know we are underdogs but we know that given the players we have, if things work out for us we're well capable of victory

Tommy Bowe

Bowe believes Ireland can cause an upset if they strain ever sinew in pursuit of a famous victory.

"Their record against us is why we're serious underdogs for this match once again and we know every player has to put everything on the line for 80 minutes.

"Hopefully we'll get the bounce of the ball and it will be our day.

"There's no panicking going on - we know we are underdogs but we know that given the players we have, if things work out for us we're well capable of victory."

Bowe admits that the Irish players let themselves down in the autumn opener against South Africa and are keen to make amends.

"We didn't play to our potential that day and there's a lot to improve on," he said.

"This is our third game in and the fact that we've been together longer is going to be a massive factor - it means we should have more of an understanding.

"We watched a few clips of the Scotland game (Scotland lost 49-3) and New Zealand were very good at capitalising on mistakes.

"That's the one area we need to concentrate on and minimise as much as possible."

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see also
Ireland v New Zealand
19 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Ireland select Sexton to face NZ
18 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Ferris says Ireland can beat NZ
17 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Ryan three-week ban for stamping
16 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Kidney relieved after Ireland win
13 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Ireland 20-10 Samoa
13 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Scotland 3-49 New Zealand
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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