Now we need to win in New Zealand! Andy Farrell readies his Ireland team for an All Blacks backlash as the sides prepare to lock horns in a three-match Southern Hemisphere blockbuster next year
- Ireland pulled off a stunning 29-20 win on Saturday to defeat New Zealand
- It was the third time in the space of five years that they had beaten the All Blacks
- However, a humiliating 60-0 loss in Hamilton is still fairly fresh in the memory
- Andy Farrell wants to beat Argentina on Sunday before winning the Six Nations
The greatest win of the Andy Farrell era so far? Without a doubt — but the Ireland coach already has his eyes on the next meeting with the All Blacks.
Farrell’s squad will embark on a three-test tour of New Zealand in July, visiting the country for the first time since 2012.
The memories of a 60-0 hammering in Hamilton a decade ago remain vivid, but Ireland’s rivalry with the All Blacks has changed utterly in recent years.
Andy Farrell is wary of a New Zealand backlash when Ireland face the All Blacks next summer
Ireland’s 29-20 win against New Zealand was their third in the space of five years in Dublin
This stunning win in Dublin was Ireland’s third triumph against the men in black in five years, following victories against the Kiwis in 2016 and 2018.
‘History shows, the next time you play against the All Blacks, that’s the most difficult,’ said Farrell.
‘That’s part of our journey. It’s a great one and we want to test ourselves against the best.
‘With 50,000 people behind us here, getting the victory against them is all well and good, but we know it’s going to be harder down the track.
‘That’s what I said during the week: the more we’re going to play these guys, the better we’re going to get.
‘It’ll be a tough tour, I’ve no doubt they’ll come firing back at us in the first Test. But it’s about us finding out about ourselves. It’s the place where we want to be.’
Mighty New Zealand do not lose often but a trio of late penalties from Joey Carbery ultimately proved decisive, following tries from James Lowe, Ronan Kelleher and Caelan Doris.
Touring New Zealand is a daunting assignment at the best of times and Farrell knows his side will be marked men when they touch down in Auckland airport next summer. First, though, a final autumn series match against Argentina.
Farrell is keen to see his squad finish strongly ahead of next year’s Six Nations as Ireland look to reclaim the championship title for the first time since 2018.
Ireland face a tough Argentina side on Sunday before they look to win the Six Nations in 2022
‘One hundred per cent – we want to finish on a high. It’s our last game, the aim is to be as consistently good as we possibly can be.
‘That’s the hardest thing in any sport, to be consistently at your best. It’s tough, particularly when people are chasing you down. It’s a lot easier to be the underdog.
‘To be the favourite, to keep your feet on the ground, we have to train well this week, make sure we prepare as we have recently.’
Farrell is set to ring the changes for the Pumas, with the likes of Ryan Baird, Tadhg Beirne, Carbery and Keith Earls all pushing for starts next weekend.
Robbie Henshaw could come back into the reckoning as the Leinster and Lions star nears a return from a foot injury.
‘We’ll see. Like I said at the start of the campaign, there might be a balancing act when it comes to people’s tanks, with injuries and so on,’ added the Ireland boss.
France beat Georgia as Matthieu Jalibert (pictured) and Peato Mauvaka both scored twice
‘So we’ll dust ourselves down. It’s an eight-day turnaround. We’ll turn up and see where the land lies.’
l France geared up for Saturday’s eagerly awaited New Zealand clash by labouring to a 41-15 victory over Georgia in Bordeaux yesterday — scoring six tries, including two each by Matthieu Jalibert and Peato Mauvaka.