Final answer of Joe Schmidt's press conference had everyone laughing 10 months ago

Final answer of Joe Schmidt's press conference had everyone laughing

He has a mighty fine point here.

"If you want to make them World Cup favourites, go ahead. I guess they are favourites."

Steve Hansen said the words but you could tell he was aghast at the notion his world number one side, and the reigning world champs, could be stuck so readily in the corner, like 'Baby'.

Hansen was stewing after seeing his side lose their second Test match in 2018. The All Blacks are still the force to be reckoned with in world rugby, but they now have company in that regard.

Asked, after his Irish side beat New Zealand 16-9, if Hansen was just pulling everyone's chain, Joe Schmidt just exhaled before allowing himself to smile.

"I think he probably enjoyed a little bit of banter," he began. "I've huge respect for Steve, Fozzy [Ian Foster], and Scott MacLeod, their coaching staff.

"So for us to be favourites when they have been the world number-one team for nine years, and continue to be the world number-one team... We were at home, and they were coming off a long series of games where they have travelled around the world a number of times."

Compliments and accolades being juggled like hot potatoes on a clear, crisp November night in Dublin.

Schmidt had the room laughing on a couple of occasions in his press conference, alongside Ireland captain Rory Best. At one stage, when talking about Ireland being World Cup favourites, he remarked, 'Look, I'm sure Rory will tell you... but I'm not going to let him answer the question!'.

His final comment of the conference had most of the room laughing and it referred to the Jacob Stockdale try that sealed victory.

The move was not too disimilar to Beauden Barrett's score against Australia recently, only off a different set-piece. Against the Wallabies, New Zealand shaped to go right off a scrum but reversed and bolted up the left wing through Rieko Iaone before he offloaded to Barret for the try.

47 minutes into the game on Saturday and it was Ireland winning a lineout, Kieran Marmion passing to Johnny Sexton and Sexton finding Bundee Aki. From left-to-right, Ireland reversed through Aki and Stockdale had open country ahead of him.

The Ulster winger still had work to do but this fan footage (below) shows just how well he did to get the try, and how wrong-footed New Zealand were by the move.

Asked if the game's most impressive piece of attacking play had been in his locker for a while, Schmidt said:

"No, not really. I mostly steal moves from other people!

"I'm always on the look-out and always keeping my eye out. I watch the Mitre 10 Cup [in New Zealand], and they've always got a couple of good ones. There was a good one recently that the Highlanders played and I said to the coaches, 'Maybe we can do this'.

"It's hard to get patents on moves! We work away and what we do is... one of the things with the All Blacks is they work so hard. They work in to get in that chip line, they work hard to get across so they can get the far side of their defence up, so we felt we could go back down the short side...

"It's nice when everyone knows their role and those moves come off, but the other coaching staff come up with ones as well. I've come up with some incredibly poor moves in my time and Besty will probably testify to that. They've looked really good on paper, though."

Leaving the media - Kiwi, Irish, French and English all in attendance - suitably charmed, Joe Schmidt and Rory Best went off to toast another stunning win over New Zealand.