The Ireland U20 team's hopes of a Six Nations Grand Slam and Triple Crown were both ended by England in Cardiff on Thursday night. A physically powerful England team won the game 24-15.
"We're absolutely devastated inside," said Ireland captain Alex Kendellen.
"I thought the boys fronted up. We'll lick our wounds and come back for Italy.
"I think maybe give us 10 more minutes and it could be a different result. All credit to England, they came out of the blocks very fast. They're deserving winners.
"We've poured everything into this. It means so much for us, to Leams, Cully, and Richie. They've poured their heart and soul into this. It's devastating not to give them something back.
1 July 2021; Ireland players celebrate as team-mate Eoin de Buitlear crosses the line to score a try during the U20 Guinness Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Ireland and England at Cardiff Arms Park in Cardiff, Wales. Photo by Chris Fairweather/Sportsfile
Ireland's next game is against Italy in six days.
"That's the benefit of this tournament: You've got that chance to come back and hopefully go from a loss to a win," added Kendellen.
Ireland conceded 15 penalties in the game to England's 12. Discipline, when it comes to the offside line in particular, is an area in which Ireland head coach Richie Murphy feels his side must improve.
"Our lads have been fantastic. They've stuck to the task," said Murphy.
"We weren't accurate enough today. We gave them too many easy ins with a very high penalty count. Some of those, we have to go back and have a look at, and make an assessment how we're judging the offside line. We need to tidy that up, and we'll do that by next week.
"England have a massive forward pack, and that weight pays dividends after a while. Our lads stuck to the task really well. We're disappointed. We definitely feel that there are areas of the game that we let get away from ourselves. We'll take ownership of that."
Photo by Gareth Everett/Sportsfile