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15th Nov 2018

New Zealand legend, Conrad Smith pays Ireland a huge compliment

Michael Corry

all blacks ireland

The countdown is well and truly on…

In just two days time Ireland will take on New Zealand in a game that is being touted as a meeting of the two best teams in rugby at present.

Joe Schmidt’s men have a chance to top the world rankings for the first time in history if they can secure that elusive home win over the All Blacks, the likes of which has never been seen before.

all blacks ireland

Both teams are priced at even money right now, which really puts it into perspective how close these two teams are.

Last week the All Blacks laboured to a one point win over England in Twickenham which has done even more to suggest that the time is now for Ireland to step up and defeat New Zealand in Dublin.

Among the many All Black’s legends in town this week for the eagerly anticipated game is Conrad Smith, and the former New Zealand centre was one of our special guests on Baz and Andrew’s House of Rugby live show from the Guinness Open Gate Brewery.

all blacks ireland

The legendary All Black referenced how New Zealand struggled last week against England and failed capitalise on opportunities that more than likely will be punished by Ireland this weekend.

“Especially some of the coaching staff would have been looking back on the footage of all the recent games, not just the Argentinean one, and they’ll have a few areas that they want to attack, the same way the Irish would towards the All Blacks.” Smith said.

“But no, look, I don’t think they’d have any view like that. I mean, against the English, at the weekend, I think we made about 15 or so line breaks – a lot of line breaks – and we didn’t convert many of them. That would be more of an area of focus for the team – on ourselves rather than [Ireland].

“We need to make sure that if we are even able to get nine or 10 line breaks, that we capitalise on it better than we did against the English.”

all blacks ireland

Smith went on to pay Joe Schmidt’s men a huge compliment ahead of this weekend’s test match, claiming that New Zealand will most certainly be looking at Ireland as a better team than their English counterparts.

Becasue the Irish… they will view the Irish as a better team than the English. That’s no doubt and they’ll be preparing to improve. They’ll be wanting to improve on their performance. And they’ll be saying, ‘Look, if we play like we did on the weekend, we’ll lose’. That’s, I think, the whole mentality for the side this week. 

A huge compliment that is fully justified given how Ireland have performed over the last two seasons.