Media reaction savours Ireland's win

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    18 Nov 2018     Getty Images

Since their first meeting in 1905, the only Irish success was two years ago on neutral turf in Chicago and Sunday's (NZT) effort was a huge boost ahead of next year's Rugby World Cup.

A sample of reaction was:

Gerry Thornley, The Irish Times

"One to tell the grandchildren about, and even better than Chicago, because this inspired Irish victory was carved from a wild match of savage-like intensity in front of a wild crowd who all jumped aboard for the ride.

"From first minute to last, you couldn't take your eyes off it. And from first to last Ireland went mano a mano and toe to toe with the back to back world champions. There was only one try, and amazingly, Ireland scored it, thereby keeping the All Blacks' famed running game tryless. So hats off to Andy Farrell and the 23 players who carried out such a monumentally, unflinching accurate defensive effort, pushing up hard, making their tackles, applying pressure on the breakdown – nobody more than Peter O'Mahony, who was immense for his hour on the pitch."

David Walsh, The Sunday Times

"The All Blacks don't just roll over. They had three gilt-edged scoring chances. Kieran Read bundled the first, Rob Kearney intervened to stop the second and Peter O'Mahony rescued his team when at last it seemed the visitors would score. O'Mahony is a curious flanker, never looking like a great player but so often doing great things, the stuff that decides matches.

"There was something almost Kiwi about the way Ireland set about minimising the influence of their rivals' best forward Brodie Retallick. He had been so influential against England at Twickenham last week but not so last evening.

"Early in the first half he took a pass 30 yards from Ireland's line and thought to charge forward. Hardly had he moved and he was hit hard by Ireland's big lock Devin Toner who no one had ever imagined as a destructive tackler. Retallick was forced back and then Ireland's other lock, James Ryan, came charging in to drive him further back. It was quite a sight, quite a moment."

Mick Cleary, The Sunday Telegraph

"Raise the arm, salute the winner, the undisputed heavyweight champions wearing emerald green. It did not need a hyped-up promoter to over-sell an occasion that lived up to its top-of-the-card billing from first whistle to last with punch and counter-punch, a match for the ages, confirmed only at the death with New Zealand striving right to the end.

"The All Blacks did not score a try. Now there is a sentence that has rarely been penned over the last decade and encapsulates how stirring Ireland's defence was, built on the credo that they shall not pass. And they didn't."

Brendan Gallagher, The Rugby Paper

"New Zealand might remain the world ranked number one side but Ireland are manifestly right there with them as joint favourites for the World Cup in Japan next year.

"The win was well deserved, there was no element of luck, with Ireland's rock-solid defence at the heart of it. New Zealand have been averaging nearly six tries per game in the Rugby Championship but have found it tougher going up in the Northern Hemisphere with one against England last week and none last night in Dublin."

Hugh Farrelly, Irish Mail on Sunday

"The World Cup is on. Believe it. After the most complete, comprehensive performance of Joe Schmidt's reign, Ireland's prospects for Japan 2019 now extend beyond the IRFU's state objective of reaching a first semi-final to winning the competition outright…

"And last night showed why. When you marry traditional Irish fire with Joe Schmidt's supreme planning, you get an irresistible combination and it was too much for New Zealand.

"This was phenomenal. It was an elite contest, a level above anything we have seen in any of the other November Tests and Ireland bossed it. They had an answer for everything the All Blacks threw at them to the point where New Zealand lost all their customary swagger – this was their lowest points total since winning the 2011 World Cup final 8-7 against France – while keeping a team that averages around 30 points per game tryless was a remarkable achievement."