All Blacks too good for Ir­ish

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - SUNDAY SPORT -

THE All Blacks booked a semi­fi­nal berth with Eng­land af­ter oblit­er­at­ing a dis­ap­point­ing Ir­ish unit in Tokyo last night, send­ing out Ir­ish hook­ing le­gend Rory Best and ground­break­ing coach Joe Schmidt on a dis­ap­point­ing note.

Steve Hansen will now re­new his spar­ring with Eng­land coach­ing coun­ter­part Ed­die Jones as the two form sides of this World Cup go head to head in Yoko­hama next week­end af­ter the seven-try hid­ing handed out in Tokyo.

A try dou­ble from Aaron Smith and one from Beau­den Bar­rett steered the All Blacks to a 22-point lead at half-time.

Sec­ond-half tries to Cody Tay­lor, Matt Todd, Ge­orge Bridge and Jordie Bar­rett rounded out New Zealand’s scor­ing, while Rob­bie Hen­shaw clawed one back for Ire­land — who also had a penalty try awarded to them.

All Blacks cap­tain Kieran Read com­mended the Ire­land ef­fort, but it’s fair to say the north­ern side, such a force in re­cent years — and the topranked rugby side ear­lier in 2018 — has failed to front in Ja­pan.

“We knew the start was go­ing to be im­por­tant and we did that re­ally well, get­ting some points on the board early which helped,” Read said. “It was a heck of a Test match — it was re­ally tough out there.”

Schmidt, a Kiwi, guided Ire­land to their his­toric first win over New Zealand in 2016 and re­peated the ef­fort in 2018.

Hansen farewelled both Schmidt and Best as he ac­cepted post-match trib­utes.

“Rory and Joe changed Ire­land into a team that ear­lier in the year had been No. 1 in the world. Well done to them — they’ve done a mar­vel­lous job for Ire­land,” he said.

New Zealand's Aaron Smith.

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