All Blacks captain Read praises Ireland

Ross Houston
November 19, 2018

For the first time in 113 years, Ireland can boast about beating New Zealand at home and the crucial score came in the 48th-minute when Stockdale crossed the whitewash. It is hard to think of a more complete performance by any Ireland side, the stunning rout of the All Blacks in Chicago two years ago included.

"So if you want to make them World Cup favourites, go ahead".

New Zealand have retained their world number one status despite losing to second-placed Ireland, though All Blacks boss Steve Hansen believes the Irish can now call themselves the globe's best.

"I thought the crowd were phenomenal tonight". "He said: 'We'll benchmark tonight and say: can we reach that again?"

Ireland v New Zealand
Ireland had never beaten the All Blacks on home soil before

"I took my dad down to the match and the two of us were sitting in the VIP seats with all the players' families around us so there was just incredible high fives, hugging, cheering - just such an outbreak of emotion".

In Schmidt's view, there is absolutely no reason why Ireland can not up their game even more.

"Now, you might deliver that again and an All Black team might beat you".

"We're going to need the best performance of our season, the way the Irish have been playing", Read said. Not only did it further underline the northern hemisphere's increasing confidence but the outcome could secure the All Black coaching role for Schmidt from 2020 onwards.

Sean Cronin, Jack McGrath, Rob Kearney, James Ryan and Jordan Larmour will all return to Leinster, while Kieran Marmion will return to Connacht.

Jacob Stockdale of Ireland celebrates after scoring his side's first try during the Guinness Series International match between Ireland and New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. The 22-year-old Ulster wing also has deep reserves of chutzpah as he showed on Saturday.

'I didn't have to move for it or anything.

'For the second one saw that Ben Smith had come up on the outside to defend Rory Best and I saw the space in-behind. They took their opportunities, so you've got to give them credit for doing that.

Schmidt, it also emerged, had spent the previous week drumming into his players the importance of being proactive at key moments.

And he was clearly not in the mood to massage any bruised egos or give a stock answer about how New Zealand are the best in the world and would be sure to bounce back with a vengeance. "For me to do that on my first attempt is very special".

"People will I suppose postulate about who's where, who's favourite".

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