Well, this is it. The quarter-final many feared has come to pass, but is a clash with New Zealand all that bad from an Ireland perspective?

The RTÉ panel concede that Joe Schmidt's men will have to produce a performance they haven not come close to in almost a year - when they famously defeated the All Blacks in Dublin - if they are to finally make a World Cup semi-final. However, there's certainly hope.

"I think the game between Japan and Scotland showed that maybe Ireland didn't underperform as much as everyone thought in the Japanese game," said Fergus McFadden

"The performance against Samoa was an awful lot better.  Seven tries against them with 14 men was pretty impressive. Ireland's record against New Zealand under Joe Schmidt... four games, he's won two of them and should have won another one at the Aviva when they robbed us at the end of the game in 2013.

"It's got to bring a lot of confidence and it's got to be in the back of the New Zealanders' minds that Ireland have turned them over a few times under Joe, and why can't we do it again?

Bernard Jackman broke down exactly what's required to pull off a huge win: "To beat New Zealand you've got to slow the ball down at the breakdown and get a couple of turnovers. You've got to make two-man hits.

"You've got to be aggressive in defence, make sure you make dominant tackles. And also I think you've got to take risks, have one at the back field a lot of the time.

"That gives you a bit more width in the defensive line. You've got to make good decisions then. We're going to have to be a lot more aggressive than we have been int he competition so far.

"You have to fancy we have the skill set, and hopefully we have the confidence, to go and play a little bit wider than we have been because they're soft in defence."

Eddie O'Sullivan was more cautious.

"That rugby we saw back in 2018 is not the rugby we're playing at the moment," he said. 

"Our rugby at the moment is a much narrower direct game. Maybe this is the big reveal, New Zealand in the quarter-final, where we'll see this game where kicks come up the middle and around the corners and there's a good balance.

"Having said that New Zealand would have learned form their mistakes in 2018. We'll probably have to get back to that level and a little bit more because this is World Cup territory."

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