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Seven Reasons That Explain How Ireland Were Able To Beat The All Blacks

Seven Reasons That Explain How Ireland Were Able To Beat The All Blacks
By Tadhg Peavoy

One of the great wins. Possible the greatest and the result will surely  go down in folklore. Ireland got their gameplan totally right from the outset and were every inch deserving of their win. Why did they beat the all-conquering All-Blacks?

1. Ireland’s tempo was superb throughout

A stunning tempo from the outset set a template that Ireland carried through right to the finish. This went through the whole gamut from defence to attack. The “manic agression” that Paul O’Connell used to cite was their in all its glory.

2. Scrum and lineout perfection

You don’t win games without the basics being perfect and they were today. Jack McGrath and Tadhg Furlong didn’t put a foot wrong all day in both elements. Devin Toner was simply superb in the lineout.

3. Turnovers and defensive display

The All Blacks are renowned for their ability to steal ball from opposition attacks but it was Ireland that dominated that aspect today.


Defensively Ireland leaked tries but overall their choke and cover tackling was immense. Kudos to Andy Farrell as defence coach who now look to have been a superb appointment.

4. Attack-wise they got the balance right between offloading and phased retention play

The offload was always going to be key to the win and Ireland got a perfect balance between doing that and also retaining in contact when they needed to. In attack, the combination of using tight play around the ruck and bringing the backline into effect was spot on.


5 Conor Murray

A towering display from the scrum-half. Box-kicked perfectly, ran at the opposition at every opportunity, tackled with venom and led from the front. Ireland needed a big game from him to make this win happen and he delivered hook, line and sinker. His tackle on Julian Savea to force the winger into touch led to Robbie Henshaw’s match-securing try and was the epitome of commitment.

6 CJ Stander


Developing into one of Ireland’s key men as he turned over ball all over the pitch and gave key go-forward ball in attack. When Jamie Heaslip calls it a day he will likely move to No 8. His ability to be in the right place at the right time is reminiscent of the late Anthony Foley; his try is a perfect example of this, hanging right on the edge of the breakdown and using his low-body position to evade the tackle.

7 Joe Schmidt's leadership

Doubts were raised about the head coach as a leader after Ireland's 2016 Six Nations campaign and he has made a mockery of them. A first-ever win against South Africa on away soil, and very nearly a first-ever Test win down there set the bedrock for this win.

Securing back-to-back Six Nations wins for Ireland playing kick-chase rugby secured his place as one of Irish rugby's great managers. But this year we have seen him develop a game plan with far more nuance to it as he looks to bring Ireland to the next level in terms of ability and achievement. Not only did they play superb rugby today, they also used a new breed of players to do so with the likes of Tadhg Furlong, CJ Stander and Joey Carberry making the step-up to international level and wholly contributing to the win.

Schmidt was the mastermind of this victory and the main reason it occurred.


SEE ALSO: Donnacha Ryan Comments On Live Mic Prove How Much Ireland Were Motivated By Past Humiliations

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