Tears of joy flowing as Ireland compete remarkable series win against the All Blacks
Ireland create history by winning a series in New Zealand for the first time
Ireland made history by beating the All Blacks in a series in New Zealand for the first time in history after a 32-22 victory in the third Test in Wellington secured a 2-1 win.
Tears were flowing for Ireland’s heroes as they completed a series win with a remarkable performance that will instantly be etched into Irish sporting folklore.
Josh van der Flier reflected on Ireland's historic series win in New Zealand after a towering performance in the back row.
"It's an incredible feeling," van der Flier said. "This was the aim coming out at the start and it looked a bit ropey after the first week, but we've had a really good month here and it's great to finish with a performance like that. We knew we had it in us."
Ireland winger James Lowe can not quite believe what the team have achieved, as he spoke to Sky Sports.
"It hasn't quite sunk in," Lowe said. "We knew after the first Test that wasn't our best performance...but we tidied things up and tried to stop New Zealand.
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"Results like that, on the bounce, in New Zealand - who'd have thought?
All Blacks great and Sky Sports pundit Sean Fitzpatrick was full of praise for Ireland's display.
"The Irish were totally dominant and when you go through the team at each position, they were just better," Fitzpatrick said.
"Concerns for New Zealand and there will be questions asked, but this is all about Ireland - I thought they were outstanding."
Andy Farrell’s men led by 19 points at the break courtesy of a spellbinding first-half display which brought tries for Josh Van Der Flier, Hugo Keenan and Robbie Henshaw.
But the All Blacks moved to within three points in a breathless second period thanks to scores from Ardie Savea, Akira Ioane and Will Jordan, before Rob Herring crossed to help the tourists home on a historic evening.
Members of Ireland’s triumphant squad were pictured in tears at full-time as they savoured arguably the greatest result in their nation’s history.
Captain Johnny Sexton, who celebrated his 37th birthday on Monday, chipped in with 12 points, becoming the second man to surpass 1,000 in the green jersey.
Ireland only won away to New Zealand for the first time last weekend by bouncing back from a 42-19 drubbing in the Auckland opener to triumph 23-12 in Dunedin and set up the decider.
Head coach Farrell had expressed hope that his side had saved their best performance for the final Test.
The Englishman duly had his wished granted during a phenomenal opening 40 minutes packed with power and intensity before the Irish weathered a second-half storm intensified by the loss of prop Andrew Porter to a yellow card to take the series 2-1.
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