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The New Zealand Media Reaction To Ireland's Famous Win

The New Zealand Media Reaction To Ireland's Famous Win
By Gavin Cooney
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There's a wonderful quote by American writer Don Delillo in his novel, Underworld.

Longing on a large scale is what makes history.

And boy, did we long. We had 111 years of longing. And now, we have the history. Ireland took the All Blacks for forty points in Chicago on one of those days that is good for the soul.

We present to you the much-awaited New Zealand media reaction to their defeat to Ireland.

(We're still excited about writing that).

The New Zealand Herald's rugby writer (not a bad gig that) Patrick McKendry was full of praise for Schmidt's Ireland.

They played with heart - and there's plenty to like about that - but they also played intelligently, and, crucially, with ambition. That always makes a loss slightly easier to take. They didn't kick the All Blacks into submission, they scored five tries against one of the best defences in the world...

We as New Zealanders also have close links with Ireland; most of us felt that the good-humoured perennial losers deserved to go one better this time, especially after the shock which greeted the latter stages at Dublin's Aviva Stadium almost exactly three years ago when the All Blacks beat them after the full-time hooter.

That paper has caused controversy in recent weeks for depicting Michael Cheika and Warren Gatland as clowns, but there's no messing with Ireland this week.


The Herald also used the defeat as a reason to ask had they committed a huge error in allowing Joe Schmidt slip through their fingers and renew his contract with the IRFU. Possibly cognizant of the number of Irish fans likely to be reading their work this morning, they include a nice comparison with England for good measure.


Has New Zealand rugby missed a trick letting Joe Schmidt slip through its fingers?

Forget Eddie Jones and England. It is Schmidt and Ireland who are the real emerging forces of European rugby...

Schmidt's diligence is not just being seen at the elite end of the game. He is steadily building Irish rugby into a powerhouse.

Elsewhere, Chris Rattue of the same paper was heavily critical of Aaron Smith, but also reserved praise for Ireland.

There's a new rugby rivalry in town. First Dublin 2013. Now this. Forget England. Forget the Lions. The hottest rugby ticket is New Zealand versus Ireland, and who can wait for the Dublin re-match. Ireland are an excellent chance to make it two in a row.

The arrogance I refer to was the selection of halfback Aaron Smith, whose performance was at the heart of the problems.

And the stupidity of selecting him ahead of TJ Perenara, whose form and all round game was made for the physical threat that Ireland posed, came across as a two-fingered salute to those suggesting the pecking order was, remarkably, under challenge.

It didn't give enough credence to the Irish threat either.

Ireland were stunning in every regard - the game plan, composure and on-field decision making. They won so many of the individual battles.

And finally from the Herald, they carry a story of a punter who placed a $100,000 bet on the ABs to go through 2016 undefeated.

Elsewhere, Stuff.co.nz decided that the historic result called for the noble literary form of a listicle, and decided to list some of the things Ireland had given New Zealand - along with a hiding. These include black pudding, their first Labour prime minister, Bono and Saint Patrick's Day. Begorrah.

The same website ponders whether the selection of Jerome Kaino in the second row was arrogance on Steve Hansen's part, but agreed that the result is the tonic world rugby needed:


Dry your eyes, All Blacks fans because Ireland's triumph was just the tonic world rugby needed – its greatest result since Japan shocked South Africa at the last Rugby World Cup.

Except it wasn't an upset of that magnitude – Ireland have been threatening to achieve their first victory over the All Blacks for some years.

Sunday's sensational Soldier Field win by the Irish infantry should be savoured by everyone because it will do world rugby – and ultimately the All Blacks – the world of good.

History makers.

See Also: Ireland Face Haka In Figure-Of-Eight Tribute To Anthony Foley

See Also: Defeating The All Blacks Started With Defeating The Haka




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