Ireland captain and coach moving on after quarter-final defeat

Ireland captain and coach moving on after quarter-final defeat”

The All Blacks, winners of the first World Cup in 1987 and the last two, are shaping up well for a third consecutive title.

"We know that if we aren't better we aren't going to get what we want so it's pretty simple". We know that. We remember the losses more than we remember the wins.

"Defence is 50 per cent of the game and probably 90 per cent when you take in the psychological value of it. When you're doing that, they start to second-guess a little bit and start losing their edge".

"One word you associate with Joe Schmidt is detail", O'Driscoll, who played under Schmidt at both Leinster and Ireland, told AFP.

"They're playing good footy so they'll be confident, as we will be".

"We helped them along a little bit and they don't need a lot of help, the All Blacks can do it all by themselves so with that help we gave them it was really disappointing". We had a few niggles during the week and we weren't sure what our team would be until Thursday.

"We've got to be able to consolidate a performance that doesn't have those errors, particularly against the number one side in the tournament because no matter what happens you can't not capitalise on the opportunities that you create".

"Heartbroken wouldn't be too far away from how I feel and how the players feel", said Schmidt afterwards.

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New Zealand scored again before referee Nigel Owens awarded Ireland a penalty try in the 77th, for replacement forward Todd being in an offside position. But we have to say full credit to New Zealand.

Mo'unga added the conversion to put the All Blacks eight points ahead, before Smith grabbed his second try in the 20th minute with another opportunistic finish.

New Zealand increased its lead in the 32nd minute when a Sevu Reece tackle on Rob Kearney shook the ball loose and Mo'unga kicked it forward, and Beauden Barrett was first to reach it to touch down for the score. Mo'unga missed with the conversation attempt, his only blemish off the tee in the first half.

When Kieran Read took a flat ball off Smith, he turned hitting the floor and popped to Codie Taylor, the hooker flopping over under the posts for a try, Mo'unga adding the extras.

Ireland's night was epitomized by Robbie Henshaw's bombed try in the 67th minute, when he chased a perfectly placed grubber kick into the in-goal but knocked on.

Saturday's mouth-watering clash with the All Blacks is a 66,000 sell-out, however, and with England given an official allocation of just 8,000, the cheapest tickets available on the secondary market on Sunday were £440.

"I'd just like to thank this unbelievable crowd, the Irish as always, it started off with an incredible atmosphere, they were brilliant", Best said after the final whistle. "I think he is a guy that can be exploited in that area".

"But it's very tough when you give the ball back. We won't think about England until tomorrow".

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