DAN TUOHY CERTAINLY got up in New Zeland’s grill on Saturday at the AMI Stadium in Christchurch.
On three separate occasions he drew the jersey-gripping ire of the All Blacks in a performance which mirrored that of the Ireland team – feist and much-improved from the first Test at Eden Park.
He blotted his copybook in the first half by not releasing Richie McCaw after a covering tackle some 30 metres from the Irish posts.
Otherwise, Tuohy was responsible for four line-out takes and, along with Sean O’Brien and lock partner Donnacha Ryan, made the most tackles (14).
“I was much more happy with my performance at the weekend than the one before,” he told TheScore.ie. The second-row added:
From myself and the other lads, there is more to come. We will be looking to go out on Saturday with all guns blazing.
The guns blazing approach has had its casualties as this 11-month leviathan of a season draws to a close – Gordon D’Arcy and Jamie Heaslip are out of the third Test and Keith Earls is in danger of missing his second match in a row.
Mark Tainton, Mick Kearney and Dan Tuohy endure a gesticulating question from ace reporter Patrick McCarry. (©INPHO/Billy Stickland)
The loss of Heaslip will hopefully be off-set by the recall of Peter O’Mahony, an impressive sub on Saturday, or the elevation of Chris Henry, Tuohy’s provincial teammate.
“I can’t speak highly enough of Chris,” Tuohy commented. “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.”
The box that won’t be ticked
While there have been comments, down in New Zealand, from every Kiwi with a pulse about Ireland having peaked in their 22-19 second Test loss, Tuohy is confident that there is more to come.
He said, “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.”
*You can follow all the latest news, comments and goings on from the Irish camp by following @patmccarry on Twitter and by regularly checking in with TheScore.ie.