New Zealand advances to Rugby World Cup semis

Ruben Hill
October 20, 2019

At the Rugby World Cup, New Zealand has advanced to the semifinals with a 46-14 victory over Ireland.

"I'd just like to thank this unbelievable crowd, the Irish as always, it started off with an incredible atmosphere, they were brilliant", Best said after the final whistle.

Ireland captain Rory Best's worldwide career ended when he was replaced in the 63rd minute and left the field with tears in his eyes, knowing there was no chance for his team to advance another week.

The Irish brewer posted an image to Twitter saying they are "officially done with the colour black today".

After a tight opening 10 minutes the New Zealanders, dominating possession and territory and playing fluent, varied rugby at high pace, took complete control, quicksilver scrumhalf Aaron Smith leading the way with the first two tries.

"In particular Joe (Schmidt) who's moving on".

"It's sad that Rory and Joe are leaving us, they were emotional in the changing room".

They did briefly come to life just before the break as for the first time in the game their team threatened the New Zealand line, but once again the All Blacks defense was immoveable.

"It's a hard time for them, but I'm sure when they reflect they will do so with time".

Despite heading into the tournament as the number one ranked side in the world, a shock defeat by hosts Japan in their second Pool A fixture consigned Ireland to a last-eight game against the All Blacks.

"It was a heck of a test match, really tough out there and we really felt it".

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

He added: "The quarter-finals obviously are a sticking point for us, but we never once talked about that". "You don't win 18 Test matches in a row without being a good team".

"That's hugely frustrating for us. It's do-or-die footy. We knew the reality was we could have been going home if we didn't bring it tonight". "We felt we had prepared well and had a game plan", he said.

"It's disappointing that we didn't put in a performance to do justice to our fantastic support. but we'll be back".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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