Ireland should follow All Blacks' example

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Former Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll said after their record 15-57 loss to England at the weekend Ireland had to put in the hard work because the momentum wasn't on their side.

"You look at New Zealand – they lost 47-26 to Australia and then 36-nilled them the next week," he told dailymail.co.uk.

"Having been there and climbed to No.2 in the world they know they are capable of reaching those heights. It's just a matter of being able to do all the work in between and deliver on the pitch to be able to justify the credit and kudos they have got over the last number of years," he said.

The heights of 2018 when they beat the All Blacks for the second time in three seasons and claimed a Grand Slam in the Six Nations were well behind the side as they contemplated getting beyond the quarterfinals for the first time at a World Cup.

"It will be different in Japan, but it is a concern looking at the magnitude of the defeat.

"It's not easy talking about Ireland's struggles. I have been in that situation, and it can be turned around very quickly," he said.

Of main concern was the Irish lineout which O'Driscoll described as 'massively malfunctioning' as it conceded five throws to England. 

"Even some of the ball they won were overthrows, so they don't give you an opportunity to launch your game-plan in any shape or form. They have relied on a really strong set-piece, scrum and lineout, over the last couple of years.

"They had a really difficult day against England – they didn't pick off any from England's throw and lost five of their own. You sort that out and you give yourself a chance to launch yourself into the game," he said.

It didn't help that they didn't win many collisions and when that happened it prevented using quality ball to get over the advantage line.

"All the small little things – the five, 10 percent differences – can change a game. They need a number of different areas to go their way," he said.

Ireland could still turn things around.

"If they win this weekend [against Wales] and the weekend after that's three in four victories, and that puts a very different shine on things going into Scotland and Japan first up at the World Cup.

"The landscape can change very quickly. You have to be careful pigeon-holing it as to how it's going to be," O'Driscoll said.

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