Tuesday, 12 November, 2019

England must follow New Zealand's lead and land the opening heavy blow

All Blacks batter Ireland 46-14 to reach World Cup semis WATCH: A tearful Rory Best reacts to the Irish RWC quarter-final defeat
Shannon Reynolds | 21 October, 2019, 13:21

Media and past players alike bought into the notion that Ireland had a big game in them and it was magically going to come to the fore last weekend.

"We wanted to bring Scotty Barrett on, it was a tactical decision", Hansen said.

There were hundreds of glowing tributes to Best on social media from fans across the world of rugby.

A late score from Robbie Henshaw and a penalty try belatedly got Ireland on the scoreboard, but it was nowhere near enough to stop the All Blacks from progressing to a mouth-watering semifinal against England in Yokohama on October 26.

"It's very disappointing and it's tough on them, but they should be criticised because they under-performed". The All Blacks have won 15 of the last 16 tests against England, including the last six, up to a 16-15 win at Twickenham last November.

'But then the challenge is to beat them.

Sport can give us wonderful moments in our lives, moments full of nervous adrenaline or serotonin, days when we can all remember where we were or what we were doing, but it can also deliver the cruellest of moments when emotions, expectation and confidence are at their lowest.

New Zealand took an early lead through a Richie Mo'unga penalty, but the All Blacks really gained a foothold when Smith went over for a try in the 14th minute. Some will use this penalty as a confirmation of their bias despite the positive contribution up to this point.

But there was certainly no ring-rustiness on show at Tokyo Stadium as a powerful, off-loading All Blacks side handed out an absolute masterclass in game management, allying superb ball retention with a ferocious, smothering defence for which the Irish had no answer. Especially not when it took 27 minutes for new Zealand to cough up possession with their first handling error.

"And it's the tag around Irish players' necks". I don't think there's a team that comes close to them for sustainability. We've only recently learned how to beat New Zealand at the end of their season with home advantage or as close to that as you could get. This wasn't a quarter final curse. Schmidt is the greatest coach in the modern Irish era.

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"They are playing good footy, so they will be confident".

Wales were even less convincing than South Africa, they needed a red card to the opposition and a last gasp try and conversion to get past a French team who had largely been a rabble before last night's quarter-final.

"I think they were just really, really clinical, they didn't let us get on the front foot".

"We're happy with the way it went too".

Ireland's game didn't develop enough over the a year ago or two to give these guys the send-off that they truly deserve.

The men in green tried to play themselves into the game but they found no points of weakness in the black wall.

"That's why you've got to be careful when you start talking about experience".

"If we had lost on Saturday, you guys would have been coming at me hard", he shrugged. "Thinking of you up there, love you, Grandad Ted".

New Zealand did play magnificently, he said, "but it has to be remembered that they had two weeks rest before the game whereas Ireland only had one.
"And it was noticeable that Ireland just did not have the same levels of energy that we have seen them play with in previous games".

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