It is not every day that Ireland are a good bet to beat the All Blacks. Not just any old bunch of silver ferns, either, but a team unbeaten in Tests on European soil since 2012 and still the world’s No 1 side. New Zealand are knocked from their rankings perch about as often as Steve Hansen fancies doing Strictly Come Dancing.
Ireland, though, are increasingly sure-footed on the game’s biggest stages. At home they have not lost in their last 10 Tests, dating back to New Zealand’s contentious 21-9 victory two years ago. Under Joe Schmidt they now march to a different tune to previous Irish squads. The 40-29 victory over the All Blacks in Chicago in 2016 will always be celebrated but their ambitions remain far from satisfied.
Written by Robert Kitson
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/nov/16/joe-schmidt-ireland-all-blacks-worlds-top-two-rugby-union under the title “Schmidt’s Ireland sense All Blacks scalp as world’s best brace for collision”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.