Rugby fans have lost their minds after Ireland pulled off the once unthinkable as the men in green etched their names into the record books.
Ireland have just done the once unthinkable.
The men in green have stunned the world by defeating the All Blacks for their first ever series victory in New Zealand.
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Ireland burst out of the blocks and held off the fast-finishing All Blacks to win the deciding third Test 32-22, becoming the first touring team in the professional era to win a series on New Zealand soil.
Ireland scored three tries before halftime in Wellington to lead 22-3 and held their nerve as New Zealand stormed back with three of their own after the interval to clinch the series 2-1.
The series victory also launches Ireland to the top of the world rugby rankings.
Ireland made history last weekend when they won their first ever Test in New Zealand and they backed it up at Sky Stadium to prove the win wasn’t all the luck of the Irish.
The All Blacks have rarely been so outplayed as they were in the first half, failing to respond to a merciless Ireland side who took their chances ruthlessly.
Having looked muddled in attack and clueless on defence for 40 minutes, New Zealand mounted a rearguard after halftime, storming back to trail 25-22 entering the final quarter of the match.
But they couldn’t push on against a visiting side who created breathing room when Rob Herring crossed for their fourth try and held firm to complete one of the great series rebounds.
The win makes it the fifth time Ireland have defeated the All Blacks from their past eight meetings.
“Our fans turned out tonight, but also four million people back at home for breakfast, probably having a couple of pints watching us,” said Ireland captain Johnny Sexton.
“We wanted to do them proud and we certainly did that. The effort was incredible and it’s a very special day because we’re playing against the best in the world, the very best, and to come down here and do it is very special.”
“It hasn’t quite sunk in,” said Ireland wing James Lowe. “We knew after the first Test that wasn’t our best performance, but we tidied things up and tried to stop New Zealand.
“Results like that, on the bounce, in New Zealand, who’d have thought?”
Fans watching on couldn’t quite believe what they’d witnessed as the praise for Irish team came flooding in.
– with AFP
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