Ireland v New Zealand: All Blacks will be fired up, says Tommy Bowe

Bowe versus All Blacks
Bowe played in Ireland's 24-22 defeat by New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium

Former winger Tommy Bowe believes Ireland will face a highly motivated New Zealand side after the tourists' one-point win over England on Saturday.

The world champions scored 16 unanswered points to overturn an early 15-point deficit at Twickenham.

"The fact that England almost beat them at the weekend will not have done us any favours," said Bowe, who won 69 Irish caps.

"They will be well and truly switched on."

Speaking on Radio 5 Live's Rugby Union Weekly podcast, the two-time British and Irish Lion suggested England will be "kicking themselves" after making such an impressive start.

"They won't get many better opportunities," said Bowe.

"They had a fantastic game, but the All Blacks just seem to know how to win."

'It happened in Fergie time'

Last Saturday New Zealand scored 13 points in a 10-minute spell either side of half-time to reduce England's lead to two.

For Steve Hansen's side, who last month defeated South Africa despite trailing by 12 with four minutes remaining, it was another exhibition in producing vital scores with the clock winding down.

Irish head coach Joe Schmidt admitted earlier this week he was "still bleeding" from New Zealand's 24-22 victory in Dublin five years ago, when the All Blacks came from 19-0 down to win with the final kick of the game.

"You remember 'Fergie time' with Manchester United, that's when teams switch off. When they start to think the changing room is coming," said Bowe.

"The top teams seem to be able to put points on and that is when New Zealand in the past have been so clinical."

Damian McKenzie
Damian McKenzie scored New Zealand's only try against England in the 38th minute

"A lot of teams who just want to get into the changing room will kick the ball out but there are top teams who have confidence to keep playing when the opposition want to finish it up.

"To get scores either side of half-time are crucial moments."

The meeting at the Aviva Stadium between the world's two highest-ranked teams pits the reigning Six Nations champions against the Rugby Championship winners.

There is a feeling in Ireland that the team is well poised to defeat the world champions after a historic 2018 that has so far brought a Grand Slam and a series win in Australia.

"They (New Zealand) know Ireland are kind of fancying themselves, and want to lay down a marker," said the 2009 Grand Slam winner.

Ireland will conclude their autumn international series at home to the United States the following weekend while New Zealand will face Italy in Rome.


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