Ireland vs New Zealand - Report - Friendly 2018 - 17 Nov, 2018

'Ireland can now claim to be the best team in the world after producing a stunning performance that was fearless, creative and relentless. "I thought it was for Tadgh (Furlong a prop) as he was outstanding", said Best. Physicality and intensity wins test matches. "We're all going to be making announcements shortly", Hansen said. But to be able to back it up again shows that we are still learning, still getting better and learning from past performances. "Rugby World Cup final?" was the former fly-half's message, and many may feel the question mark is superfluous.

Asked if beating the back-to-back world champions again would convince him to remain at the helm, he said: 'I'm happy to just park that.

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"So as of now they are the number-one team in the world". All while being the first northern hemisphere side to keep New Zealand from scoring a try in a game in over twenty years.

New Zealand arrived in Europe having scored at least four tries in each of their 12 previous Tests.

The clash kicks off at 7pm GMT this evening.

Are New Zealand running out of steam?

Peter O'Mahony, Ireland's stoic flanker, was enormous until his body finally gave way on the hour mark and the talismanic Jonny Sexton bossed the midfield and, crucially, outplayed his opposite number - two-time world Player of the Year Beauden Barrett. The head coach, Joe Schmidt, the quiet man from near Palmerston North in the heart of New Zealand's North Island, used the phrase "incredibly collective" in hailing the latest success, a first home win over New Zealand in Ireland's history, to go with the first anywhere, in Chicago two Novembers ago, as well as a Six Nations Grand Slam sealed away to England last March and the 2-1 Test success in Australia in the summer.

An 111-year hoodoo was broken on a famous day in Dublin as the Irish rugby team claimed their first win on home soil against the New Zealand All Blacks, prompting the New Zealand media to herald the Irish as the world's best.

"I took my dad down to the match and the two of us were sitting in the VIP seats with all the players' families around us so there was just incredible high fives, hugging, cheering - just such an outbreak of emotion". The former rugby league great - who also played for England in rugby union - has with Saturday's win tasted success against the All Blacks four times (twice with Ireland, once with England and past year with the British & Irish Lions).

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