‘Ireland can beat All Blacks’
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.