Rugby Union

Ireland celebrate a famous win.

New Zealand media install Ireland as the world’s number one team after All Blacks are defeated

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After Ireland’s dogged defence led them to a famous and first win on home soil against the All Blacks, the New Zealand media were quick to agree with coach Steve Hanson’s assessment that Ireland are now favourites for next year’s World Cup.

Ireland negated the usual All Blacks brilliance, and after a tight first half, won courtesy of Jacob Stockdale’s clever chip and gather try early in the second half.

Ireland managed to absorb inevitable All Blacks pressure in the second half following the try and capped a superb defensive display to ensure a shutout.

This was the first time that New Zealand failed to score a try in a match against a Northern Hemisphere side since 1995, and that came against France.

Reaction in New Zealand was one of praise for their opponents, despite the dismay at a rare defeat for their side.

Gregor Paul of the NZ Herald stated that Ireland have the edge now, despite the All Blacks retaining their world number one status in spite of their defeat.

"Ireland versus New Zealand is the great rivalry of the modern age.

"And maybe, just maybe, Ireland having won two of the last three can say they are edging it.

"And if there was something the All Blacks didn't have it was patience. They were too eager to throw the pass that wasn't on. Too jittery when chances came their way.

Ireland v New Zealand - International Friendly

"Kieran Read couldn't gather a charge down when the line was open. Barrett threw a pass back to an Irishman after he'd broken free. Reiko Ioane did the same and it looked like the pressure had got to the All Blacks.

"Ireland's relentless defence had unnerved them. They played like they were a little red in the head – not blue as they want to be in these big games."

Liam Napier, writing in the same publication, gave praise to the Irish defensive system and the tactics employed by Andy Farrell and Schmidt.

"Everywhere you looked there was another desperate man in green.

Ireland v New Zealand - International Friendly

"The All Blacks just could not impose their game, their tempo, their sublime skills. And for that, again, Ireland deserves every accolade.

"Ireland set the tone prior to kick-off by taking a couple of steps forward to accept the challenge of the haka. When they then formed a huddle for the final pre-start message, it was clear they were right up for this.

"The All Blacks knew Ireland would bring their suffocating game but for long periods were powerless to negate it. Their tactics appeared to be geared towards chasing territory through the boot of Barrett and, while this worked early, as the match wore on they struggled to get the ball back."

Mark Hinton of cast his eye further afield, stating that this was the perfect potential job interview for Schmidt for the All Blacks coach post the 2019 World Cup.

Ireland v New Zealand - International Friendly

The native New Zealander has long been linked with the post in the future, and Hinton believes he could be the preferred candidate.

"So, if there is to be a new All Blacks coach post-2019, surely Schmidt has just completed the perfect job interview. He has masterminded not one, but two victories over the All Blacks in three seasons."

Writing for the same publication, Robert van Royen chose to focus on New Zealand, rather than the impressive Irish.

"Jam your noggin under a cold tap, or shake yourself silly - nothing will change.

Ireland v New Zealand - International Friendly

"There's no bad dream to wake up from. It - this black day in New Zealand rugby in which both the world champion All Blacks and Black Ferns lost on the same day - was real.

"Sure, it shouldn't sting near as much as the All Blacks' 2007 quarterfinal exit in the World Cup, but there will still be some downcast folk around the country."

It is surely too early to declare a complete changing of the guard at the top of international rugby, but what yesterday’s result does show, as well as a defeat against the Springboks earlier in the year, that this All Blacks side is now fallible and will have some strong competition come the World Cup.

Ireland Rugby
New Zeland Rugby
Rugby Union

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