Published: Sun, November 18, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Impressive Ireland overcome All Blacks

Impressive Ireland overcome All Blacks

Saturday's test is the first meeting between the two countries since Ireland brought a halt to the All Blacks' record run of 18 successive test wins with a 40-29 triumph in Chicago two years ago.

Rattled, New Zealand's penalty count inched towards double figures as another Sexton penalty gave Ireland a 9-6 halftime lead, a poor return for their dominance.

The win at the Stadio Euganeo was another excellent defensive display from Cheika's men, who have now given up 16 points in two games, against a desperate Italian side which dominated large spells of possession in either half.

It was telling that Beauden Barrett opted successfully for the posts rather than the corner with his first opportunity in range, an option Sexton turned down nearly immediately after the visitors gave away their sixth penalty in just over 20 minutes.

"New Zealand are renowned for the style of rugby they play, and one to 15 they can all play and put people into space and through holes".

Ireland and New Zealand have met 31 times since their first match in 1905, with the All Blacks recording 28 wins to Ireland's brace of victories.

The game inevitably opened up and New Zealand's backline became more of a feature but Ireland, saved again by O'Mahony before he limped off to a hero's ovation on the hour, survived the onslaught.

At the same time, Hansen promised that his team would improve because of this defeat.

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Ireland initially looked to build on their lead, but soon found themselves forced onto the back foot as the All Blacks looked to click into gear.

"We are just focusing on the United States of America next week".

"We still had belief in ourselves to try and get across the line but it wasn't to be, so give them the credit".

Only a gang tackle centimetres from the line stopped Braam Steyn from opening the scoring in the seventh minute after Tommaso Benvenuti had waltzed through the Wallabies defence and chipped forward. "And when we get those chances to get the ball back we do that".

Italy boss Conor O'Shea was furious that Gauzere did not refer the decision to disallow Tebaldi's try to the TMO.

"I know we have to prepare as well as we can physically".

"Would that try change the game?"

"What it does do I think, and I said this at the beginning of the week, is that you have the two best sides in the world playing each other so as of now they're the number one team in the world".

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