"He went missing for 80 minutes, we went into our shells" - Ferris cuts the shit 3 weeks ago

"He went missing for 80 minutes, we went into our shells" - Ferris cuts the shit

It's never an easy thing to do.

Stephen Ferris played for years alongside Johnny Sexton. They went to battle together, won battles and lost battles. The respect between the pair is unquestionable.

But that doesn't get in the way of the cold, harsh truths. Ferris, the Ulster man is a straight shooter. He calls it as it is and that's the type of attitude that helped him have such an exceptional career for Ireland.

And Sexton is no different. One of the most ferocious competitors in the game, you can imagine the pain he's going through right now. The missed kicks, the errant passes, they'll be running through his mind for weeks.

And that's just the way it is. That's the pain of sport.

After Ireland's soul-destroying quarter final tonking a the hands of the All Blacks, Ferris wasn't going to beat around the bush, he wasn't going to give lads free passes.

He was going to say it as it is and speaking on RTÉ, he explained where it all went wrong for Ireland.

"New Zealand's big players stood up today and Ireland's didn't. Johnny Sexton, I haven't seen him have as bad a game in a long, long time for Ireland," said Ferris.

Ireland ratings

"Jacob Stockdale, try-scoring machine - he went missing for 80 minutes. The two second rows - you normally see James Ryan making himself large and being an absolute nuisance - he just went missing today. We just went into our shells..."

"You've got to tip your hat to New Zealand.

"Sometimes, in the big games, it's about who wants it more. But I don't think that would have mattered today, New Zealand were just so far ahead of Ireland..."

And Eddie O'Sullivan attempted to explain why. Ireland have flatlined this season our former manager said, they've hit a trough and they were always going to struggle to just snap out of it against the best team in the world.

"We didn't come to the party to play. We were just there spectating. We were absolutely demolished, we weren't at the races. We got torn to shreds. There's no shame in losing to New Zealand, it's the nature of the defeat that's really disappointing, but this was an absolute tonking..."