Ireland brace for All Blacks response in Wellington

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The stage is set for a rare home series decider and Farrell said, "We always get a response, everyone knows that. History tells you that, we're used to it by now."

 

But he's also conscious that not only is the series on the line, but with Tuesday's second game against the Maori All Blacks, there was more exposure for younger players who had seen what their more experienced peers had achieved.

 

That was important for Ireland's future and was why those older hands had been taken out of their comfort zone by playing midweek games on the tour.

 

"There's been no whingeing, they've been mentally very tough, and they'll back the lads up well to make sure they're in good form for Tuesday night," he said.

 

Captain Johnny Sexton claimed a special place in rugby history as a result of leading the side to a first win by Ireland on New Zealand soil.

 

"Any time you create a little bit of history it means a lot," he said.

"It is a very, very special day for everyone in the country. We talk about it a lot, we talk about making people at home proud of us, it's right at the top of our list.

 

"The effort we put in last week we didn't get the rewards, the same effort again this week and it was touch and go at times. At halftime I thought, 'Oh my God', but the reaction in the second half was superb. To score with 14 men, obviously against 14, to bounce back like we did, was great.

 

"We stayed in the moment. It wasn't perfect and we feel like we could have played better in parts, it was a very special day," he said.

 

Farrell said the win wasn't about what it meant to him, it was what it meant to the players.

 

"They keep turning up and knocking down doors, and the most special thing about tonight is no other Irish side will get the chance to do that again, will they?"

 

They also talked about the winning of a series and the win earned them the right to add a series win to their list of credits.

 

The special thing about the win was that everyone knew the All Blacks traditionally came out for a second game more cohesive and playing a quicker game, but this side didn't let them do that.

 

 

"We started very quick last week and this week we did exactly the same, so that's twice on the trot. That shows the courage of the players, but the most impressive thing is we've learned the lessons from last week, staying in the game, staying calm, next moment, and there were some errors like Johnny said, but our mentality never changed," he said.

 

They also didn't fall to the allure of trying to play 14-men or 13-men, for a few minutes, of trying to play the game from everywhere.

 

Keeping the All Blacks pinned in their territory and maintaining control was outstanding, he said.

 

Farrell said the side was measured in its development and not getting frustrated or overawed by game situations against quality opposition.

 

"We're pretty good at staying neutral and staying on task, it's helping us to play in these big games and compete," he said.

 

Sexton said a long look at their defence after the first Test had been effective while they had been better in transitioning at turnover situations, and that would be important going into their final week of the tour.

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