Saturday, 19th November sees Ireland v New Zealand in the Aviva Stadium. We have a long history of being hammered by the All Blacks… but this could be the game that flips the script.
The All Blacks are a fearsome, gifted team with a history of stellar victories. We’ve played them 28 times since 1905, and they won 27 of those matches. In fact, the only Irish team to have ever beaten New Zealand were Munster, who famously defeated them 12-0 at Thomond Park way back in 1978.
New Zealand has been mauling the opposition so far this year. They won all six of their Investec championship matches. Wales were crushed by them in the Steinlager Series in June. But Ireland has some good reasons to be optimistic.
Ireland will get a first-hand preview of how the All Blacks are playing on 5th November when the two teams play in Chicago. Our lads will have first-hand experience of their moves and strategies before the match in the Aviva, so they will be better prepared.
We’ll also be on our home turf, surrounded by Irish fans cheering and chanting. Sure, New Zealand’s haka is an amazing tactic to get psyched up… but is anything more inspiring than a stadium full of Irish fans?
That draw, our best performance against the New Zealand, was a home game. (It was also in 1973, but we won’t dwell on that.) We last played them in 2013 at the Aviva, and that was a close game finishing 22 – 24 to the All-Blacks in the end.
Are We Ready?
This Irish team hasn’t been playing together as long as this New Zealand team has. We’ve had a couple of injuries. We are clearly the underdogs going into this. But that doesn’t spell doom. What’s more motivating than the dream of the underdog snatching victory from a top team? And top teams can get careless playing an underdog, not that the All Blacks have shown signs of that. Yet.
No one knows how the two Ireland vs New Zealand matches will go, but it seems a safe bet that the second game will be closer than the first. The Ireland team will be playing their hearts out, looking to score a historic victory. Win, lose or draw, it is going to be some top-class, passionate rugby.
It’s a dominant team with a glorious history of victory up against the home-town heroes, the underdogs with a dream and a stadium full of fans rooting for them. If Ireland wins, people will be telling their children exactly where they were for the game. And you could be there!
Yes that’s right, we’re giving away two PREMIUM tickets to the game. To enter, simple visit our Facebook page, Answer the simple question, LIKE the PAGE and Share the post with your friends. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, November 15th.