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Ireland did O'Shea and Italy no favours

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    26 Nov 2018     Getty Images

The former Ireland backs utility, who played fullback and in the midfield during 35 Test appearances for Ireland, felt the wrath of an All Blacks side wanting to bounce back quickly from their defeat.

What made the loss even more disappointing was that it wasn't by any means the strongest All Blacks team selected for the game.

It was also a warning for Italy ahead of next year's Rugby World Cup. For the seventh time they will be in the same pool as the All Blacks. And the news hasn't been good for them in those games. In the opening game of the 1987 World Cup at Eden Park New Zealand won 70-6.

Their best performance was in 1991 at Leicester when they were beaten 31-21. But in 1999 at Huddersfield the score was 51-3 and in 2003 in Melbourne it was 70-7. Their last World Cup contest was in Marseille in 2007 when the All Blacks again triumphed, 76-14.

"When I saw Ireland last week I saw 20 years of hard work. Of people who did the right things and made the right decisions," O'Shea said.

"They've done this all their lives in New Zealand. They're better than us," he said.

"We didn't do many good things but they [the All Blacks] were too angry and eager to redeem themselves after last week's defeat.

"Their energy and mentality is different. Today they won everything, even though we had four opportunities 50m from their line.

"We gave them easy tries in the first half. When you come up to this level you know what you have to do. We're competitive people. We know we can beat the teams around us."

The All Blacks had been a completely different proposition to the Australian side Italy met a week earlier when doing down 7-26. But at the same time he said it would take many years for his side to reach a level like that achieved by the All Blacks.

But in the meantime it was a case of retaining their own faith in what they were attempting to do and setting themselves for the Six Nations in February. And then looking towards Japan in September-October.