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The Thrilled New Zealand Media Reaction To Epic Quarter-Final Win Over Ireland

The Thrilled New Zealand Media Reaction To Epic Quarter-Final Win Over Ireland
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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While rugby fans in this country are still licking their wounds after Ireland's devastating Rugby World Cup quarter-final loss last night, there is no doubt that a feeling of real satisfaction in New Zealand at the moment as a result of their team's performance in Paris.

The All Blacks came into the fixture as slight underdogs, a tag that they have not been used to during the history of this tournament. That is sure to have given them some added motivation, especially when facing an Irish side that they have struggled against over the last few years.

Their performance at the Stade de France was remarkable. They brought a ridiculous intensity to the contest, one that put Ireland out of kilter in a manner that we have not seen over the last couple of years. As well as that, they made the most of what few scoring opportunities they were given by scoring some top class tries.

In the end, they certainly deserved the victory.



New Zealand media react to stunning win over Ireland

The New Zealand rugby public has never lacked confidence over the years, and while they had plenty of belief heading into this game, there is no doubt that they were thrilled to see their team produce the type of performance that they did.

Writing on RNZ.com, Jamie Wall said that the All Blacks emerged as deserving winners from what was a remarkable test match.


'Incredible’ is about the best way to start describing this morning’s 28-24 win by the All Blacks over Ireland in Paris. Just where you go from there is wide open, because this was a match that entered into the realm of classic before Wayne Barnes’ whistle had even gone for halftime.

There has been so much talk, maybe too much, about whether modern rugby is a viable product to attract new fans or just please the existing ones. You’re not going to find any complaints, anywhere, about the spectacle that was put on at Stade de France. From the blistering start to the stomach-churning finish, it had everything you want in a test match.

First thing’s first: the All Black captain was immense today.

ireland new zealand

Ian Foster will step aside after this tournament, with his coaching coming under some heavy scrutiny over the last 18 months or so. In saying that, he got things spot on in this game.

Marc Stinton of Stuff NZ would label it as the best team performance of his tenure.

In the best performance of the Ian Foster era, the All Blacks have stared down the pressure, the intimidating invasion of the green army, and the excellence of an opponent absolutely on top of its game, to seize not only the big moment, but a spot in the semifinals of the Rugby World Cup.

Unfortunately, that performance came at the wrong time from an Irish perspective.

NZ Herald journalist Gregor Paul made some interesting comments about this Ireland side in the buildup to the game, but he feels that they did themselves justice in this game despite the result. They just came up against the better team, as summed up by that remarkable 37-phase defensive stand at the death:

In what was one of the most extraordinary endings to a World Cup test - any test - Ireland, befitting such a brave champion team, just kept coming, and New Zealand just kept tackling. Not only did they keep tackling, though, they did so legally. They stayed onside, kept rolling away and gave referee Wayne Barnes no reason, no obvious moment, for him to do what he has done once before in a quarter-final of a World Cup hosted by France - and land the killer blow.

Barnes, much like both teams, was at the absolute top of his game, and the shrill blast of his whistle was only heard when he was sure that All Blacks lock Sam Whitelock had earned a legitimate turnover penalty.

ireland new zealand

That was certainly a brilliant piece of play from Sam Whitelock, who made a big impact after coming off the bench for the final 20 minutes of the game. He was not the only All Black to put in a star turn in Paris, with two players in particular standing out as head and shoulders above the rest.

Writing in the NZ Herald, Christopher Reive would give both Sam Cane and Ardie Savea top marks in his player ratings.


Ardie Savea - 10

Going from 0-100 as soon as the opening whistle blew, Savea was aggressive and deliberate in every involvement he had in the game. Be it contesting the breakdown, making tackles or running the ball, while his aggressive intent saw him concede a couple of penalties, the Irish will be having nightmares about the All Blacks’ enforcer for some time to come.

Sam Cane - 10

Made some dominant tackles – a game-high 21 - to drive the Irish ball carriers backwards and open up opportunities for turnovers at the breakdown, while he was confident carrying the ball. Cane was consistently on the spot defensively and led the way with his shoulders. It was clear he put everything he had into this performance.

You can't argue with that assessment.

This defeat will sting for quite some time for Ireland fans, but down in New Zealand, they will judge this game as the fixture when there was a hint of a return of the All Blacks side that dominated world rugby for over a decade.

From an Irish perspective, you would just hope that our opportunity to climb to the summit of the world game in real way hasn't passed us by.

SEE ALSO: New Zealand Captain Sam Cane Responds To Question On Ireland's Peter O'Mahony Sledging

ireland new zealand all blacks rugby world cup sam cane peter o'mahony

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