Friday 14 December 2018

'It's one window, on one day but we'll take it' - Joe Schmidt singles out his scrumhalves on a famous night

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen, left, and Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt ahead of the Guinness Series International match between Ireland and New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen, left, and Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt ahead of the Guinness Series International match between Ireland and New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Cormac Byrne

Joe Schmidt singled out his scrumhalves for added praise after watching his side record a historic victory over the All Blacks for the first time on home soil.

The 16-9 victory at the Aviva is his side's 11th straight win at the Aviva Stadium.

The Kiwi admitted that he feared a repeat of the heartbreak suffered in 2013 when Ryan Crotty denied Ireland with a try at the death.

Ireland led 9-6 at the break but struck the killer blow in the second half when Jacob Stockdale scored a stunning solo try.

The victory was all the more remarkable given the absence of talisman Conor Murray but his replacements performed admirably.

"I was really proud of Kieran Marmion and Luke McGrath, what a test for them. Josh van der Flier came in for Dan Leavy. It's hard to pull someone out, it was a meritorious effort," Schmidt told RTE Sport.

"I think there were really special moments for us in this Test match .It was a heck of a battle. The All Blacks are so tough to beat. I had visions of 2013 as they made their way up the pitch but I thought we kept our discipline really well and stayed in the system towards the end.

"We had a couple of really positive attacking moments, one we managed to score off. Super try from Jacob Stockdale. Super finish.

"It was a little bit reminiscent of his try at Twickenham to extend the lead in the Grand Slam game.

"We had to fight really hard in the end.

"I was pleased with how our scrum and lineout went, particularly in the first half. The work that Greg Feek did in the lead up to the game, the work Simon Easterby did was super and our defence, with Andy (Farrell) doing a super job.

"I think as a collective team. they are all pretty relieved."

The Irish head coach felt the All Blacks may have been affected by their exertions in their win over England at Twickenham last week.

"It's one window, on one day but we'll take it," he added.

"We're lucky to have had the opportunity on the back of a really tough game last week, they've had to come over here, it's the end of a long season for them, they've done a lot of travelling and I would throw the cards back up in the air if we had to play them again.

"This is out home and we haven't been beaten here in two years and we have pride in that."

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