Ireland head coach Andy Farrell praised his side’s “courageous effort” after they sealed a 23-12 victory against the All Blacks in Saturday’s Test in Dunedin.
The result is a momentous one as it is the first time Ireland have beaten the All Blacks on New Zealand soil since their first Test in that country in 1976.
New Zealand played most of the match with 14 men after Angus Ta’avao was red carded for a dangerous challenge on Garry Ringrose on the half-hour mark.
This, after he came on as a replacement for Ofa Tu’ungafasi, who had received the home side’s second yellow card after Leicester Fainga’anuku was also sin-binned in the 14th minute.
Delighted with the result
“I’m just so pleased for the players because they are so desperate to inspire people back home,” he told Sky Sports.
“They keep turning up time and time again and doing special things for Irish rugby and for the Irish people.
“I’m so glad they were able to get over the line because it had a bit of everything, didn’t it? It was a courageous effort.”
Farrell believes his team’s start to the game played a massive part in helping them clinch their win.
“We were as courageous as we were last week (when they 42-19 in Auckland),” he added.
“We hit the ground running and piled some pressure on them and what was most pleasing is we didn’t get sucked into the allure of the game, (New Zealand) going down to 14 men, then going down to 13 men.
“We kept playing the right game in the right parts of the field and applying pressure and I’m just so proud of them.”
Ireland’s triumph means the three-Test series is level at 1-1 and the teams will now head to Wellington for next week’s deciding Test.
“The main thing is we’re learning how to deal with the pressure of the top-level games, our composure is really good and things are not always going to go sprightly for you in any game, especially against the world’s best,” said Farrell.
“We got what we deserved. These lads have created a bit of history and earned the right to try and compete for a series next week.”
Ireland captain Johnny Sexton was full of praise for Farrell and his backroom staff.
“We’ve got a fantastic coaching team,” he told Sky Sports.
“They had us well up for the game; we felt we didn’t give the best account of ourselves last week and the All Blacks obviously punished us for our mistakes.
“But they put us in a really good place this week and all we had to do was go and deliver what they put together for us – and we did that.
“When you’re playing against the All Blacks you can never sit back; the times you do sit back they punish you and they’ve got some outstanding players, very well coached.
“They’re the best team in the world for a reason and we’re just absolutely delighted to get the win.
“I think 14 against 14 at the start of the second half to score a try was huge, and then we knew we would be playing against 14 for the rest of the game.
“We’re delighted with the win but we have the chance to win a series here and they don’t come along too often, so let’s build for next week.”
READ MORE: July internationals: Ireland make history with first win over All Blacks in New Zealand
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