Ireland Set For World Rankings Boost Following Historic All Blacks Victory

Lawrence Kim
November 18, 2018

New Zealand were beaten 16-9 in Dublin, one week after they came back from 15-0 down to scrape a victory against England in torrential rain.

The All Blacks boss stuck to his word in the wake of Ireland's triumph, and even labelled Joe Schmidt's Ireland as the front-runners for next year's World Cup.

"All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said that the victor of this game could justifiably claim to the world's best team and, while they remain No 2 on the rankings, Joe Schmidt's Ireland are top of the world", Ruaidhri O'Connor wrote for the Irish Independent.

New Zealand though, don't play another global until the summer which means Ireland could leapfrog them should they continue their Six Nations dominance from past year.

But the best the All Blacks were pushing for on this occasion was only a draw providing they could score and that Beauden Barrett would land the conversion.

Irish fans will be able to stream the action via the RTE Player, which can be downloaded across a host of devices.

"From first minute to last, you couldn't take your eyes off it".

An inspired squad carried out the meticulous gameplan of Joe Schmidt's exceptional coaching set-up wonderfully. "The boys showed up everywhere, tackles that shouldn't have been made, plays that shouldn't have been made", man-of-the-match Peter O'Mahony said in a pitchside interview.

New Zealand have no shortage of quality coaching options to step into an All Blacks role should Hansen decide to step down after the next World Cup.

"The electricity in the stadium was evident from the start of Amhrán na bhFiann, through the All Blacks' haka and into game itself, the atmosphere doubtless contributing to a frenetic first half which Ireland bossed for long periods".

It was telling that Beauden Barrett opted successfully for the posts rather than the corner with his first opportunity in range, an option Sexton turned down nearly immediately after the visitors gave away their sixth penalty in just over 20 minutes.

New Zealand, who had not suffered defeat in Europe since 2012, dug deep in an attempt to engineer a way back into the contest but found Ireland in no mood to surrender their hard-earned lead. Here are the passages of play that epitomised a special victory.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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