Ireland might have tasted defeat in their autumn international opener but Ulster wing Tommy Bowe insists they can take plenty of positives from their South African loss.
Declan Kidney’s men in green went down 16-12 to the Springboks in Dublin, despite leading 12-3 at half-time thanks to four penalties from Jonathan Sexton.
This made the loss hard to swallow but it is made even more painful with the fact that it was Ireland’s fifth-straight Test defeat.
But Ulsterman Bowe, who won his 50th cap on Saturday, believes all is not lost and is convinced the new faces in the squad faced up to the Springbok test admirably.
"The likes of Chris Henry and Mike McCarthy stepped up to the plate, they were outstanding," said the 28-year-old, who has two tries to his name this RaboDirect PRO12 season since returning to Ulster.
"It didn't feel as though there was any real drop around the pitch because of the guys we were missing. No one looked out of place.
"There's been a lot of talk about the guys who are missing, but that will happen and there must be a new breed of player coming through.
"A lot of the guys really put their hand up yesterday and it's disappointing we didn't get the win to show for it.
"We're looking forward to Fiji next week and then obviously we have a massive match against Argentina. It's a case of getting the job done."