How a team approaches the Haka often sets the tone for a performance against the All Blacks.
As TJ Perenara led his teammates in the pre-game ritual, the Irish players stood in a figure-of-eight formation. It was a tribute to the recently departed Anthony Foley. The Munster coach wore the number eight shirt throughout his playing career for both his province and his country.
Following Ireland's monumental win, captain Rory Best spoke to the media about the tribute. Best said that as a group, they felt it was the right thing to do.
It was just something that we talked about, the management and the players. It was very sad news that Munster got a few weeks ago. This was the national team's first time together since his passing.
We felt it was the right thing to do. We put the Munster boys at the front, for them to lead that. The number eight, it just felt like the right thing to do and it was our way as the Irish national team to show a mark of respect to Axel and his family.
Best added that the emotion of the occasion, some arising from the memory of Anthony Foley, gave players an extra bit of fuel to get themselves over the line against the All Blacks.
Obviously there was a lot of emotion and some of the Munster boys got a bit from that. It was just an emotionally charged day for us because we knew it was a great opportunity. Ultimately, we did our work earlier in the week and then we could draw on a bit of that emotion.