'I'm just so proud of them' - Farrell hails 'courageous' Ireland after historic All Blacks win

·3-min read

Head coach Andy Farrell was gushing with pride following Ireland's historic victory over New Zealand on Saturday.

The Irish, who were beaten 42-19 in the first Test last week, responded brilliantly by prevailing 23-12 in Dunedin for their first ever away win over the All Blacks.

Farrell's side opened up a 10-0 lead thanks to Andrew Porter's try and the right boot of Johnny Sexton, but that was cut to three points before half-time when Beauden Barrett went over for the hosts, who had Angus Ta'avao sent off following a clash of heads with Garry Ringrose.

Nevertheless, the visitors capitalised on their numerical advantage after the break. Porter crossed again with Sexton adding a further eight points, while Will Jordan's late try was a mere consolation for New Zealand as the Irish held out for a famous win.

And Farrell heaped praise on his players as they levelled the series ahead of the final Test in Wellington next week.

"I'm just pleased for the players because they're so desperate to inspire people back home, and they keep turning up time and time again and doing special things for Irish rugby and the Irish people," he told Sky Sports.

"I'm so glad they were able to get it over the line because it had a bit of everything, it was a courageous effort.

"We all know the All Blacks come out of the blocks; they're stronger, faster, and we were courageous, we hit the ground running right from the start.

"We didn't get sucked into the allure of the game. Going down to 14 men, and then going down to 13 men, we kept playing the right game in the right parts of the field and applying pressure. I'm just so proud of them.

"The main thing is we're learning how to deal with the pressures of the top-level game. Our composure's really good.

"Things are not always going to go sprightly for you, especially against the world's best, but our composure doesn't change when we make a mistake, and we got what we deserved.

"These lads have made history, but they've also earned the right to compete for a series."

Sexton added: "No Irish team has ever done it before. We are delighted, but it is all on the line next week. We have got a fantastic coaching team and they had us well up for the game.

"We didn't give the best account of ourselves last week and the All Blacks punished us for our mistake, but they [the coaching team] put us in a really good place this week. We had to go and deliver, and we did that."

All eyes turn to what will be an exciting series finale at the Sky Stadium next week, and two-try scorer Porter insists he and his team-mates have nothing to lose.

"All that matters for us now is next week, but we will enjoy tonight," the prop said.

"Obviously we had an extra man for most of the game, so we will have to put in a better performance next week and give our supporters even more to cheer.

"We have created a bit of history today, but it would be even sweeter if we could pull off the win next week as well.

"We will take our learnings from today and throw everything at it. We have got nothing to lose."

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