Rugby World Cup 2011
Ferris grateful for tough workout
ESPNscrum Staff
September 11, 2011

Ireland flanker Stephen Ferris believes that their surprisingly competitive clash with the United States in New Plymouth on Sunday will stand them in good stead ahead of next weekend's crunch clash with Australia.

The Irish, who went into the game on the back of four successive defeats, had hoped to kick off their World Cup campaign with a bonus-point victory. However, they managed just three tries, through Tommy Bowe (2) and Rory Best, as the Americans frustrated Declan Kidney's side for long periods of the game.

Ferris felt that the inclement weather had done Ireland's hopes of playing a more free-flowing game no favours at all, while the Ulster back-row also bemoaned the fact that they struggled to build up any momentum on account of an uncharacteristically goal-kicking display from fly-half Jonathan Sexton.

"If we'd got one or two more kicks early on and applied a bit more pressure, there could have been a few more tries," Ferris said after his side's 22-10 win over the Eagles at Yarrow Stadium.

"The conditions were very slippery but we dug in well and got the win we needed. We feel like we left the fourth try sitting out there. It was a tough, physical contest that we needed before we face Australia.

"Apart from the intercept try the USA didn't look like scoring a try. We scrambled well and our defence scored solid.

"If we can score one or two tries, hopefully our defence will keep us in the game against Australia."

On a personal level, Ferris was pleased by the way in which he got stronger as the game went on, explaining that he felt no ill affects from the knee injury which caused him so much trouble last season.

"In the first 20 minutes I felt lethargic. I spoke to a few of the lads and they felt the same. Our legs were heavy," he said.

"Maybe it was the travelling or nerves as that was my first World Cup game. I was nervous last night and today. But as the game went on I felt more explosive and powerful. There were some big collisions was great and the knee felt great."

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