Published: Sat, October 19, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

All Blacks full of praise for Ireland's departing Schmidt, Best

All Blacks full of praise for Ireland's departing Schmidt, Best

The Irish media continue to fire jabs at the All Blacks ahead of tonight's Rugby World Cup quarter-final with one of the latest pieces focusing on Sevu Reece's selection. "They were just really clinical".

Ireland have a dismal record at World Cups, failing to progress past the quarter-final stage in all eight editions of the global showpiece thus far, and this time they face daunting opposition in the form of the back-to-back World Champions.

It wasn't long before the All Blacks made their early pressure count, as Aaron Smith darted through an opening in the Ireland defense the instant it appeared and went over for the opening try.

"Because right after the November series when we played the All Blacks a year ago, we chose to make sure that this was our target". "It's just disappointing. We were great past year, we've just come off the top of that and haven't been quite where we wanted to be".

Ireland hadn't helped themselves in the first-half, guilty of falling off tackles, handling errors and poor kicking.

We haven't looked sharp in this World Cup.

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"I think when I get some distance to reflect on maybe 75 Test matches and we've won 74% of them, there's been some incredibly good days". But it was the manner of this defeat which will hurt them more. "We haven't played our best yet and the challenge for us is how do we get better next week, how do we get better individually as a player, how do we get better as a team, and at these World Cups that's what it's all about. I thought we were pretty much like that". We know as a team we tend to get better as the tournament goes on.

The video mimics the pre-flight safety briefing given on most airlines around the world and advises us all to "prepare for some turbulence" ahead of the big game.

'We don't want to get distracted by it being his last game, second-last game, third-last game, we want to talk about him when it's done.

"We've been a little bit flat all season", conceded Ireland coach Joe Schmidt, who is stepping down from the role.

Johnny Sexton had demanded that if they were not going to beat New Zealand - and of course they were heavy underdogs - then at least they should not die wondering.

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