5 Reasons Why Ireland Can Beat The All Blacks Again This Weekend
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Can Ireland do it again? We’d like to think so.
Ireland take on the All Blacks this weekend in a return fixture at the Aviva following their historic win in Chicago. That win was Ireland’s first in 111 years of meeting, with Joe Schmidt’s men running out 40-29 winners.
Five tries sealed a victory that day, with Ireland putting in a five star performance in the first half, stunning the All Blacks. Steve Hansen’s men made a comeback in the second-half but Ireland were just too good for them on the day, with Robbie Henshaw sealing a famous win in the last ten minutes.
The question remains however, can Ireland do it again? Here’s five reasons why we think they can.
1. Conor Murray
The Munster scrumhalf is in the form of his life right now and was Ireland’s star man in Chicago, grabbing a brilliant individual try and making all important tackle on Julian Savea in the final moments of the game, setting up Henshaw’s winner. Arguably the most in-form nine on the planet right now. If he puts in a similar performance to the one at Soldier Field, Ireland stand a real chance.
2. They’ve done it once.
The stigma is gone. Ireland have finally defeated the All Blacks. They no longer have that chip on their shoulders and they no longer fear the opposition. The All Blacks will come out fighting, seeking revenge. Ireland will be ready however, and they now know exactly what is needed to get the job done.
3. Home advantage
A sold-out Aviva stadium will host the memorable clash this weekend, with 50,000+ Irish fans expected in attendance. It will be a unique atmosphere that will no doubt have an intimidating effect on the All Blacks. The doubt is now there for them, the belief is now there for the Irish and the fans will let this be known.
4. Joe Schmidt
Schmidt always has a game plan. It’s taking him years to perfect it and finally with a bit of luck- he now has the strength in- depth to implement it, with Ireland boasting almost a full clean bill of health for the first time in years. A truly world class coach, never underestimate what Joe Schmidt may have up his sleeve.
5. They are rattled.
They will never admit it, but the All Blacks and New Zealand itself is rattled. They’re no longer invincible, Ireland have proven that. We’ve seen that this week with some of Steve Hansen’s comments and we’ve seen it with their media.
“If you could make God bleed, people would cease to believe in him. There will be blood in the water, the sharks will come. All I have to do is sit back and watch as the world consumes you.”
The All Blacks are there for the taking and Ireland know it.