Ireland full back claims the comprehensive 25-7 overcome by Grand Slam winners Wales will inspire to improve as the countdown begins for the World Cup in Japan from the autumn.

“You have to bank all these difficult days. There’s little doubt about this, which has been a challenging day [in Cardiff],” said Kearney.

“We just have to make sure we use days for this to your advantage. We need to get together and close rank a bit.”

“We shouldn’t shed attention with just how good we are as players and being a team,” added the Leinster number 1-5.

“We still have a huge quantity of confidence in terms of what we could achieve. We just ought to be realistic that there’s lots of other very great teams on the market too.

“It was tough watching one of your rival countries lift decorations.

“So, that’s a memory. It’s a picture which may live with all of us a very long time over the next few months, and it’s going to be brewing off”

crossed for a smart try and Gareth Anscombe booted 20 points as Wales almost maintained Ireland scoreless at the Principality Stadium.

went in added time as Ireland avoided a failure to score in a Test match for the first time since 2012.

They played pretty much, to be fair with them. Their defence is quite good,” continued the British and Irish Lion.

“Our subject has been quite inferior and so they just kept the scoreboard moving along well. All of a sudden, we had a enormous old mountain to climb.

“We had this incredible season last year, and after each game, we always said that the margins were somewhat small.

“We’ve done really well to win, and this season we have come out the other aspect of this.

“Today, albeit the manner in some of the matches, you can not mention that the margins are small because there have been a bunch of heavy enough defeats.”

Kearney admits Ireland are braced for heavy criticism after slipping from Grand Slam winners to mid-table from the space of a calendar year however they must wait for their own Cardiff loopholes to fuel their passion for the worldcup.

“there is a massive backlash following the England defeat, there was a little bit of a backlash following the game, albeit we’d won with an added bonus point but hadn’t played particularly well,” said Kearney.

“I am convinced there will be lots said about us as players and as a team within the coming weeks, however, that is part to be professional athletes as well.”


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