Rugby writers around the world have reacted to Ireland's first ever home win over New Zealand with a torrent of praise and talked up chances of a first Irish World Cup victory next year. 


"Ireland can now claim to be the best team in the world after producing a stunning performance that was brave, creative and relentless," says the NZ Herald's Gregor Paul.

"They deserved the win and with it, they deserve to be seen as world rugby's best team even if the rankings don't agree.

"They were the better team. They had an answer to everything the All Blacks threw at them and they never panicked, never looked overawed by the occasion.

"As for the All Blacks, they were almost as good and that is something that will hurt. The word almost. It's not normally there but the truth of things at the moment is that Ireland versus New Zealand is the great rivalry of the modern age. And maybe, just maybe, Ireland having won two of the last three can say they are edging it."


"Chicago 2016 was special but this was pretty much New Zealand’s best-available team, with Japan 2019 just over the horizon. Can Ireland really win the World Cup? It is fast becoming a case of who can stop them," writes Robert Kitson in The Guardian.

"For the first time they have beaten the All Blacks on Irish soil and not a single Kiwi can say it was undeserved. If New Zealand are still officially the world’s best team, it did not particularly feel that way at the final whistle.

"New Zealand may have escaped against England at Twickenham but not this time; the world champions were hassled and harried to a virtual standstill by a home team as composed and clinical as they were physical and powerful."


"The next All Blacks coach just delivered a resounding message to the current one," writes Marc Hinton in The Age. "Joe Schmidt's magnificent Ireland rugby team are now assuredly the best side on the planet

"This Irish side of Schmidt's are not just legitimate threats, but indeed the team to beat as the world gets set to gather next year in Japan for the four-yearly tussle for the Webb Ellis Cup.

"Yes, less than a year out from the World Cup, they must assume the favourite's tag. They have won 17 of their last 18 tests, they have just secured their first victory over the back-to-back world champions on home soil (and their second in three seasons) and they have done so with as disciplined and destructive a performance as you could hope to have seen at the very top of this international game.


"The result in Dublin was very different to the one achieved in Wellington this past September," says Jon Cardinelli of SA Rugby mag.

"The Springboks will mark that win and performance against the All Blacks as a turning point. The All Blacks could have won that game, though, via a drop goal or if a refereeing decision had gone their way in the dying moments. 

"In Dublin, however, the All Blacks were outplayed by a more physical and tactically astute Ireland side for most of the game. It’s not often that you see a New Zealand side getting absolutely crunched at the scrums and collisions, and losing the aerial contest to such a telling degree."


"Speed, technique and precision," notes l'Equipe's Frédéric Bernès. "The duel at the top between Ireland, number two worldwide, and New Zealand, on the throne for nine years without interruption, turned to the advantage of the Greens after a very high level match.

"Two years ago, in Chicago, Ireland had managed the feat of toppling the All Blacks for the first time in a hundred and eleven years. It has finally reached that on its national territory."