Smith re­calls ‘es­cape’ against Ire­land

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

CAPE TOWN — All Blacks full­back Ben Smith re­calls their last en­counter with Ire­land in Dublin when they scored a late try to win 24-22.

Smith said he re­mem­bers his side be­ing un­der pres­sure from the very start of the game in Novem­ber 2013.

Ire­land fly­half Johnny Sex­ton missed a late penalty which would have given his side an unas­sail­able eight­point lead, only to miss and see the All Blacks counter up-field to score, be­fore Aaron Cru­den slot­ted the win­ning con­ver­sion from the cor­ner.

“We were re­ally, re­ally lucky to es­cape out of that game on the right end and I just think it showed how pas­sion­ate the Ir­ish are,” Smith told the All Blacks. com web­site ahead of his side’s sched­uled Test against Ire­land in Chicago on Novem­ber 5.

“They were re­ally phys­i­cal that day and I’m ex­pect­ing more again this week,” he said.

Smith said an end-of-year tour pro­vided mixed emo­tions as a fa­ther, be­ing away from home for a month. It was tough leav­ing lit­tle ones but that was tem­pered with go­ing to a city like Chicago which was “a pretty awe­some place”, Smith said.

Smith took part in the out­ing in Chicago two years ago and said the United States re­ally em­braced the rugby con­cept. And at Sol­dier Field the crowd got right be­hind their team and this time around he was sure there would be some sup­port for Ire­land. “I think it will be an awe­some oc­ca­sion,” he said. Smith said there were def­i­nite dis­trac­tions in Chicago but they needed to strike a bal­ance be­tween hard graft and see­ing the sights.

“I think it’s just a case of get­ting a good bal­ance of when you can ven­ture out and have a look at dif­fer­ent things,” he said.

On their year-end tour, the All Blacks are also sched­uled to play Italy (Rome, Novem­ber 12), sec­ond Test against Ire­land (Dublin, Novem­ber 19) and France (Paris, Novem­ber 26). — Sport24.

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