Henderson reassured by Ireland's victory over the All Blacks


An incredible defensive display from the men in green kept the world champions try-less for the first time since the second Lions Test in 2017, and become the first northern hemisphere team excluding the touring side to do so since 1995.

In a country where 20 percent of the population claim Irish ancestry, the All Blacks' defeat on Saturday was still seen by some as a win for New Zealand.

Ireland backed up their win against the All Blacks in Chicago two years ago by beating them on home soil for the first time with wing Jacob Stockdale's try proving to be the decisive score. That he did and probably dispelled doubts about his ability to lead the team into the Six Nations and then the World Cup. They ooze individual talent, from the world's finest fly-half, Johnny Sexton, to the tighthead prop, Tadhg Furlong, who anchors the scrum when he is not rampaging in the broken field.

When there is a shift in the axis of a sport, it is possible to get carried away - say, as a insane antidote to Brexit, if you wish.

Stockdale bagged his 12th try in just 14 caps as Ireland stunned the back-to-back world champions 16-9 in Dublin on Saturday night.

"Scotland previous year nearly had New Zealand and England nearly had New Zealand".

That is a sentence that Irish rugby has been waiting more than a century to hear.

Barrett quickly levelled the scoring again, this time with an effortless drop goal from distance, but Ireland continued to put the pressure on with 22-year-old lock James Ryan once more hugely impressive all over the park.

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Henderson also paid tribute to Ireland's defence coach Andy Farrell, whose masterful strategy played a huge role in their triumph.

Are New Zealand running out of steam?

"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".

Could this be a smokescreen? "To overcome that was the most satisfying thing in my mind". Or are they mentally worn out?

"People might say, 'OK, they won in Chicago, it was a one-off, almost.' But to be able to back it up again shows that we are still learning, still getting better, and learning from past performances".

Richard Knowler, writing for Fairfax Media, called Ireland "the unofficial kings" of world rugby.

Today, all hats must be tipped to the Irish. "It's great for world rugby but not always for the coaches", Erasmus said.