Resolute All Blacks crash Ireland RWC quarterfinal dreams

Ardie Savea goes over for a try against Ireland. PHOTO/All Blacks

All Blacks saw off a late siege to triumph 28-24 as Ireland suffered an eighth Rugby World Cup quarter-final defeat at Stade de France on Saturday.

Leicester Fainga’anuku’s try helped the All Blacks race into a 13-0 lead before centre Bundee Aki danced his way over for Ireland. Ardie Savea responded but Jamison Gibson-Park’s try, with Aaron Smith in the sin-bin for a deliberate knock-on, saw their lead cut to 18-17 at half-time.

Will Jordan bagged his fifth try of the tournament but a penalty try, with hooker Codie Taylor also getting a yellow card, saw Ireland again get within one point.

Centre Jordie Barrett then kicked a penalty before New Zealand held on in the closing minutes despite 37 phases of Irish attacks to set up a semi-final with Argentina at Stade de France on Friday, 20 October.

All Blacks number eight Ardie Savea, named the Mastercard Player of the Match, expressed his pride in their performance.

“There was a lot riding on this week,” he said. “It was one of those test matches that was a battle. To go out there and play against a world-class Irish squad, we gave the fans what they wanted.

“This Irish team have set the standard this whole year. I just want to send love to them. I am just so proud of my boys.”

New Zealand prevailed despite playing 20 minutes of the match with 14 men.

“To be honest, I kind of didn’t notice,” Savea added, “We just had to dig deep and we got through in the end.”

Captain Sam Cane said his side were “absolutely stoked” to reach a ninth semi-final in 10 tournaments.

“It was a crazy test match, an absolute arm wrestle for 83 or 84 minutes, both teams going at it,” he said. “A lot of credit has to go to Ireland. They have set the standard round world rugby for the last couple of years so we knew the challenge that we had here tonight.

“I am super proud of the effort that went into the week’s preparation. Our ability to defend our line for 30-plus phases at the end, that’s huge. What an atmosphere, what a game, what a tournament to be part of and I’m just really happy to have another week.”

Most Popular

Africa’s premier rugby website covering the latest Rugby news, results, transfers, fixtures. Get Kenya Rugby News and from the rest of the Unions.

Copyright © 2023 Powered by Scrummage Barber and SAFGAK Limited

To Top