Andy Farrell’s No 1-ranked side hope to end a run of seven defeats in seven Rugby World Cup quarter-finals on Saturday
Ask any rugby player if the past matters and you generally get the same answer. It contains two letters and begins with “N”. It’s not about revenge, or previous results between the teams, or indeed what the history books say. That has been the theme, listening to coaches and players alike, in the buildup to Ireland’s tectonic plate-shifting quarter-final against New Zealand in Paris on Saturday night.
“The past is the past,” said the All Blacks head coach, Ian Foster, and you had to admit he had a point. An occasion dripping with significance, wherever you care to look, will come down to who delivers on the day. For a start Ireland have never progressed beyond the last eight. Add the fact that the great Irish fly-half and captain, Johnny Sexton, is set to retire and has entered the knockout phase of his glittering career. Throw in a dash of Ireland’s opportunity to equal the record of 18 consecutive Test victories, jointly held by New Zealand and England.
Written by Luke McLaughlin in Paris
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2023/oct/13/ireland-take-on-new-zealand-rugby-world-cup-task-in-occasion-dripping-with-significance under the title “Ireland take on New Zealand task in occasion dripping with significance”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.