The New Zealand Media Has Some Choice Words For Ireland
The mind games have begun.
Ireland taken on New Zealand this weekend in Dublin in the return fixture following Ireland’s stunning win over the world champions over in Chicago. That win was Ireland’s first win over the All Blacks after 111 years of trying.
Not only did Ireland beat the All Blacks, they beat them with some style, racking up five tries is a huge 40-29 win. Joe Schmidt’s men left no doubts, Ireland were the better team on the day, and they showed that in the scoreline.
The All Blacks only conceded five tries in the entire Rugby Championship this year, so to do what Ireland did is somewhat unprecedented. The question now remains however, can they do it again?
Writing in the New Zealand Herald, veteran Kiwi rugby writer Gregor Paul reckons Ireland are no longer the underdogs, and that added pressure will have a serious affect.
Can they first of all cope with the level of expectation that they have generated? Celts love being tagged as the under dogs. It suits their mentality – to be doubted, to be underestimated and have everything to prove. That’s partly why the Scots and Irish have overachieved in many fields – they have had a burning sense of grievance that the world holds little hope for them.
But Ireland can’t play that card in Dublin. They can’t say little old Ireland stands no chance against the world famous nasty men in black. They can no longer use – positively or negatively – their failure to ever beat the All Blacks as some kind of emotional fuel.
With victory comes a different burden of expectation and while this may be new territory for Ireland, it is the norm for the All Blacks. Their emotional state never changes.
He goes on to say that Ireland are now gaining a peak into the world that New Zealand live in, and they should be scared.
Ireland are now gaining a little peak into that world. It can be a little scary. There is nowhere to hide and the question for them is do they have a desire and mentality to go through what it takes – physically and mentally – to consistently win big games, or are they happy enough to say they made history by beating the All Blacks once and that’s enough for them?
Can Ireland defy the odds once again and beat the All Blacks? Make no mistake, regardless of what any of the New Zealand media say, they are very much once again the underdog. Joe Schmidt knows that and you can be damn sure Ireland knows it.
There is that added pressure now that the weight has been lifted and they’ve finally defeated the All Blacks. How will that affect Ireland? Tune in on Saturday to find out.