‘Ire­land can beat All Blacks’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

CAPE TOWN — Bath coach Todd Black­ad­der be­lieves if any team can beat New Zealand it is likely to be Ire­land.

The for­mer All Blacks cap­tain and Cru­saders coach feels that while the All Blacks will be mo­ti­vated to con­tinue their record-break­ing ex­ploits Ire­land were ca­pa­ble of halt­ing them in their tracks.

The sides are to meet in Chicago on Novem­ber 5 and a fort­night later in Dublin.

“I would say if you just looked at form, you would think not many teams could beat them,” Todd told the All Blacks web­site.

“But if they think they are un­beat­able they will prob­a­bly get beaten, so it’s prob­a­bly more of a mind thing than any­thing else,” he said. But Black­ad­der said the All Blacks wouldn’t be tak­ing any­thing for granted.

“They’ve got a record and they want to keep on win­ning. They want to keep growing and get­ting bet­ter so I would think that would be a real mo­ti­va­tion to keep per­form­ing, keep im­prov­ing and cre­ate a new legacy for them­selves - which they will only do if they keep win­ning,” he said.

“I think if any­one can chal­lenge them it is more likely to be Ire­land. Ire­land will come to­gether and they play them in two games, which is very dif­fer­ent when you play in a lit­tle mini-Test se­ries.

“The last time they played, Ire­land pushed the All Blacks re­ally close and that shows that on any given day there is a chance you can nar­row the gap.

“If you look at the Rugby Cham­pi­onship, the All Blacks were so far ahead of their ri­vals. But I still think that com­ing to the north­ern hemi­sphere and play­ing Ire­land in Chicago and Dublin, the All Blacks will cer­tainly have to be on their game.” —

Mean­while, Wal­la­bies coach Michael Cheika has de­clared he won’t be hand­ing out any jer­seys for free, de­spite the se­lec­tion of NRL star Marika Koroi­bete in his squad for their end-of-year tour.

De­spite being named as part of the main squad, Cheika said Koroi­bete was un­likely to fea­ture in a Test on the tour.

“No one’s get­ting a jer­sey for free, no one has and no one ever will,” he told the Aus­tralian Rugby Union’s of­fi­cial web­site.

“He’s ob­vi­ously a tal­ent who can con­trib­ute for us and make an im­pact fur­ther down the road def­i­nitely and it’ll give me an op­por­tu­nity to get up and coach him a lit­tle bit first so I can have a look at him be­fore he goes back and plays Su­per Rugby and I think that that’s a per­fectly log­i­cal thing to do.” — Sport24.

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