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Ireland will come out all guns blazing

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Sportal.co.nz     19 Jun 2012     Getty Images

Ireland were heavily beaten in their opening Test against the world champions earlier this month, losing 42-10 at Eden Park, but they came agonisingly close to levelling the series on Saturday before going down 22-19 in Christchurch.

Dan Carter's dropped goal with 60 seconds remaining sealed the win for New Zealand and gave them an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. It also improved their remarkable record against Ireland to 25 wins in 26 meetings, with the other game finishing in a draw.

The All Blacks will be hoping to continue that run at Waikato Stadium this coming weekend, but they are unlikely to find it any easier against an Irish side who Tuohy insists are determined to build on their impressive showing in the second Test and finally get that first victory over the southern hemisphere superpowers.

"From myself and the other lads, there is more to come. We will be looking to go out on Saturday with all guns blazing," said the Ulster second row.

"I certainly don't think that was the best we could play. There were a lot of mistakes and stuff we left out there on the pitch.

"We've worked really hard as a group and we don't want to finish the season coming off the back of three defeats. We are desperate to right the wrongs of the last couple of weeks.

"It would be great to get that elusive win against the All Blacks so I don't think it will be too hard to get motivated for next week."

He added: "We worked extremely hard to put ourselves in a position to win it. As a collective, we are disappointed that we didn't close it out. The focus this week is on delivering another big performance at the weekend."

Tuohy toured New Zealand in 2010 but, despite a try-scoring debut, was out of the international reckoning for two years.

A fine campaign with Heineken Cup finalists Ulster, though, ensured that Irish coach Declan Kidney gave him the nod after Paul O'Connell's knee injury ended his season.

Tuohy said: "It is great to finally get a decent run in the team. I've only got four caps so I wouldn't say I'm completely settled yet.

"I'm really enjoying this tour and, hopefully, there will be many more to come."

Ireland must do without Jamie Heaslip and Gordon D'Arcy for the final match after they suffered tour-ending injuries in Saturday's defeat.

However, Ireland team manager Mick Kearney has said that Keith Earls, who missed the second Test, was doing well with his rehabilitation and he remains in contention for a recall to the Irish backline for this weekend's game in Hamilton.

Heaslip's absence opens the back-row door to Tuohy's Ulster colleague, Chris Henry, to come into the side at No.8.

"I can't speak highly enough of Chris," Tuohy said. "I've played with him for three years and think he is a fantastic player. He has had an incredible year this year.

"If he is selected I'm sure that he will do the job for us."

Ireland had the chance to take the lead against New Zealand with seven minutes left on the clock but Jonathan Sexton's penalty from 49 metres dropped agonisingly short.

Assistant coach Mark Tainton has backed Sexton to land a similar kick if a similar opportunity arose in Hamilton.

"The kick was within Jonny's range if he kicks it 100 percent," said Tainton. "He has kicked those distances many times in training but just caught the ball a little bit low at the weekend and got a very fast rotation.

"I have full confidence that if [the chance] is there again this weekend, he'll step up and kick it."