Published: Mon, October 21, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

New Zealand 46 Ireland 14

New Zealand 46 Ireland 14

Sport can give us wonderful moments in our lives, moments full of nervous adrenaline or serotonin, days when we can all remember where we were or what we were doing, but it can also deliver the cruellest of moments when emotions, expectation and confidence are at their lowest. "And be consistent, that's the biggest work-on for us".

As they had against England in the warm-up matches, Ireland did not seem to know how to pick up the opposition players when they were stretched, too often defensively biting in and leaving acres of space for the likes of Sevu Reece and Barrett to exploit.

Irish fans were on tenterhooks today, tuning in to see the boys in green take on the All Blacks in the Rugby World Cup quarter-final.

The decisive factor will be whether New Zealand can stop England's power game and what happens if they do. They have a great coaching staff, and they have created depth in every single position.

"They've come to this tournament after being hurt at the last one and through that adversity, I think they're stronger because of it".

"We're really proud of that performance", Barrett said.

Coach Warren Gatland concedes they got lucky in Oita. "That will be a massive challenge, but I don't think tonight is the time to think about that". That red card was obviously significant.

Trying is one thing but winning is another and Gatland says they'll have to lift their standards significantly if they're to be a title threat. The support that I've got from home, from the fans when we're at home and when we're away.

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Former English teacher Schmidt took charge in 2013 and he and Best have overseen a purple patch since the disappointment of the 2015 World Cup, when an injury-hit side were run ragged by Argentina in the quarter-finals. "And we're down to 160 now".

"Without sounding massively blase about it, I wasn't surprised at the performance he turned in, but I can understand why people outside of our group would look at it and go "that's a hell of a performance".

"England unquestionably have more gears and they will need them against an in-form New Zealand who were irresistible against, it has to be said, an extremely poor Ireland team who confirmed rumours of their decline".

"Obviously, we would have loved to get into the top four".

But New Zealand underlined their credentials as World Cup contenders with a wonderful sixth try, Bridge finishing off a move that saw Ardie Savea make a turnover and Dane Coles produce a fantastic one-handed off-load that summed up the All Blacks' superior attacking intent.

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt, whose six-year tenure ended with the loss, said: "It wasn't just 22 points, it was all the ball we gave them and missing the penalties which would have given us field advantage". "We knew the start was important and we did that well by getting points on board early". And that's basically the team he has here.

Outgoing Irish rugby captain Rory Best never once put a put a foot wrong in his role as leader, Irish rugby legend Willie John McBride said after Ireland were eliminated from the World Cup in Tokyo on Saturday. (Aaron) Smith scored a good try around the ruck, then we made two mistakes for the next two tries.

He did not think it was possible to make a full recovery from an worldwide rugby match in one week. England will kick accurately, put pressure on New Zealand's wings and Beauden Barrett at full-back and they will look to squeeze, suffocate and strangle.

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