Rugby

The New Zealand Media Reaction To The All Blacks Humiliating Ireland

The New Zealand Media Reaction To The All Blacks Humiliating Ireland

It's familiar territory for Ireland, heading home from a World Cup while the party continues without them. Really, they didn't even make it to the dance floor. While everyone else was having fun, they were sitting in the corner, having an existential crisis and hoping tales of past glories would get them through the night.

There is no way to frame other than it being a massive failure. It was an abject performance by Joe Schmidt's side and that is reflected by the assessment of the game from the New Zealand media.

"Try as they might, Ireland were abysmal," writes Liam Napier for the New Zealand Herald.

So much so that next week's semifinal against England will be a significant step up. Eddie Jones will know so, too, are the All Blacks from the woeful Wallabies.

Ireland dropped ball, kicked terribly to miss touch from penalties three times. They fell off tackles and made so many simple errors. Never has their limited gameplan been so brutally exposed. Never did they look capable of winning their first quarter-final, in their seventh attempt.

"Has "British rugby expert" been proven this week to be as big an oxymoron as "a skinny sumo wrestler"?" asks Phil Gifford for the New Zealand Herald.

His answer:

Headlines during the week leading into the 46-14 demolishing of Ireland in the quarter-final have described as "experts" a motley bunch of commentators from Britain and Ireland, who claimed the All Blacks had lost their mojo, nobody was spooked by them anymore, and that basically New Zealand was ripe to be tipped over. There are hopefully two massive games to go for the All Blacks, but if that was a side on the brink of imploding at Tokyo Stadium then you can't buy Guinness in Dublin, they don't love the Brave Blossoms in Japan, and Boris Johnson has a great hairdresser.

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For Stuff.co.nz, Mark Reason says Joe Schmidt did well to beat the All Blacks in recent times considering the tools he had.

"Before the game the Irish fans, who once again set a magnificent example that some of the All Blacks churlish fans would do well to follow, tried to smother the haka with the loud lament of Fields of Athenry. They certainly came closer to subduing the All Blacks than their team and gave Rory Best, their 37-year-old captain, a moving send-off at the end.

"But the Irish players could not live up to their supporters in Japan. Perhaps that should not surprise us. Joe Schmidt, a great coach who has twice beaten the All Blacks with inferior players, sadly acknowledged his team had dipped in reaction to the high of last year."

Marc Hinton, also of Stuff.co.nz, says New Zealand did to Ireland as Andy Farrell had done to the All Blacks in the past.

"It was a commanding defensive display and the speed and intent with which that black line got up and knocked over anything in green had the northern side well and truly spooked. The Irish dropped ball, they misfired passes, they basically imploded with their time and space taken away.

"It was a dramatic role reversal when you think back to those two recent defeats the New Zealanders suffered at Irish hands. All week the All Blacks had hinted that they had something up their sleeve and it was this: they were going to out-Farrell Andy Farrell's notorious defensive schemes. And they did it brilliantly."

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The New Zealand Herald's Patrick McKendry suggests that Ireland's task was hopeless.

"The contrast between the two teams was apparent very early. The All Blacks were direct, physical, and perhaps most importantly executed a very clever game plan which took away Ireland's rush defence - their greatest weapon.

"They were also supremely accurate. So much for paying for that cancelled Italy pool match in Toyota City. They missed only one tackle in the first half. And their ball handling was beyond compare.

"Ireland, on the other hand, were tentative, put passes down and were continually flummoxed by the All Blacks' speed of thought and execution. They might as well have tried to hold back a typhoon."

Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

See Also: France's Vahaamahina Sees Red For Idiotic Elbow On Wales Backrow

PJ Browne
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