Saturday, 25 May, 2019

Ireland stun All Blacks to lay down Rugby World Cup marker

Kieran Read says New Zealand will need The Last Time Ireland Played The All Blacks, Tadhg Furlong Introduced Himself To The World
Shannon Reynolds | 18 November, 2018, 00:55

Coverage: Radio commentary on BBC Radio Ulster; live text and match report on BBC Sport website.

"The rugby world has shifted on its axis".

Ireland beat New Zealand on home soil for the first time with a 16-9 win at the Aviva stadium. What we do with the ball ourselves is important and so if we kick it we've got to kick it well, make sure we get a chance to get it back and do a wee bit of suffocating ourselves.

Ireland's Bundee Aki celebrates after victory over New Zealand in the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin.

For Schmidt, the first time pitting his wits against Steve Hansen in November 2013 remains an important reference point.

Rattled, New Zealand's penalty count inched towards double figures as another Sexton penalty gave Ireland a 9-6 halftime lead, a poor return for their dominance.

The late defeat had such an impact on Schmidt and his coaching staff that it became a key part of Irish training sessions afterwards.

"Look, you've got to admire what they're doing", said Hansen.

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If the match finishes goalless on Sunday, England would finish in second place due to their superior goal difference. The "tiki-taka" passing game was gone, and the focus turned to a more vertical approach in attack.

"It's a big piece of history for us and one we wanted to tick off in Ireland". It was some conditioning, but mostly skill work and just trying to implement what it would be like at the end of a game.

Ireland are without four key players for Saturday's match with scrum-half Conor Murray, centre Robbie Henshaw and flanker Sean O'Brien joined on the injury list by Dan Leavy, who was originally named to start.

Devin Toner comes in for Iain Henderson, partnering James Ryan in the second row, with skipper Rory Best, Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong continuing in front of them.

"I can't wait to see the aerial battle with Sexton on [full-back Damian] McKenzie and getting the boys chasing him down".

"Ireland are a hard team to beat at the Aviva these days so when the All Blacks come into town everyone is going to pay attention", O'Driscoll told ESPN. "If you had Murray on there I'd be a lot more confident".

"So for us to be favourites when they have been the world number-one team for nine years, and continue to be the world number-one team".

"New Zealand are renowned for the style of rugby they play, and one to 15 they can all play and put people into space and through holes". And also their ability to defend very strongly as well, so they're a good side. If New Zealand are still officially the world's best team, it did not particularly feel that way at the final whistle.

"Sexton is probably the best fly-half in the world and I think he'll be better this week, and the team will be better too". I think they've got a top side out and we know they'll come after us in some areas, because they did last time.

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