Wigan rugby league legend Andy Farrell inspires Ireland's win over All Blacks

Hope Soto
November 19, 2018

Past World Cups have been a "hurt arena" for Ireland, and not remotely in the rousing sense of the phrase memorably contributed by Andy Farrell, their English defence coach, to the British & Irish Lions' series win in 2013.

New Zealand, to their credit, accepted they had been outfoxed by Schmidt, who spends hours searching for fresh ideas - "I always steal them from someone else" - that can be tailored to his side's specific needs.

"It's a tough one to ask because you definitely need that structure in the game and then you need to just react to what's in front of you and play, so we're still trying to find that and hopefully we can find a few solutions from the weekend's game".

They have won 17 of their last 18 Tests, they have just secured their first every victory over the back-to-back world champions on home soil (and their second in three seasons) and they have done so with as disciplined and destructive a performance as you could hope to have seen at the very top of this global game'.

The 16-9 victory yielded a lot of talking points but here AFP Sports whittles it down to three things we learned from an epic Test match between the two top-ranked teams in the world - the champions of their respective hemispheres - less than a year out from the World Cup. The former rugby league great - who also played for England in rugby union - has with Saturday's win tasted success against the All Blacks four times (twice with Ireland, once with England and a year ago with the British & Irish Lions).

Irish rugby is in an incredibly healthy place.

Seldom do New Zealand receive such a high-class lesson in remorseless commitment and clinical finishing. Their knowledge has been made to count.

New Zealand have had an incredible nine years at the top of world rugby- are they now running out of steam
New Zealand have had an incredible nine years at the top of world rugby – are they now running out of steam

The question we had to answer then was, could we hold New Zealand out.

"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. Because I just wonder whether it might be time for a change of thinking". Ardie Savea did the latter on Saturday, contradicting All Blacks' mantra of trusting possession.

"That's their game, they back themselves". Or are they mentally worn out?

"So as of now they are the number-one team in the world".

After the 40-29 triumph against the world champions in Chicago, the momentum is with Ireland as the World Cup looms ever larger. Doubtless there are plenty of South Africans or Scots hoping or even believing the final forecast by Carter will actually happen in the last eight. They deserve all the praise coming their way.

Officially the rankings say otherwise but right now Irish rugby is on top of the world. You won't win many pounds or euros by betting on Sexton receiving it.

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Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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