New Zealand 46-14 Ireland: 'We gave All Blacks a leg up' says Irish coach Schmidt

New Zealand's George Bridge is tackled by CJ Stander of Ireland
New Zealand's George Bridge is tackled by CJ Stander of Ireland

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt says his side gave New Zealand "a leg up" in their 46-14 World Cup quarter-final defeat by the holders in Tokyo on Saturday.

The All Blacks ran in seven tries to Ireland's two in a comprehensive win.

"We gave them too many axis points in the game, we turned the ball over and missed opportunities to get into their zone and really put some pressure on," said departing Ireland coach Schmidt.

"They've got ball runners, guys who tactically control the game very well."

He added: "They were able to retrieve a few kicks for the line that we should have made better use of. When they kicked for the line and it was going out on the full we gave them a leg up by catching it with a foot in touch," he told ITV Sport.

"They are the sort of things that erode confidence a little bit. Once they get points ahead you're chasing the game and when you're chasing the game you're taking risks.

"Against a team like that if you're not executing perfectly they're going to capitalise on it."

The loss extends Ireland's run of never having moved beyond the quarter-finals of a World Cup, despite a series of wins over southern hemisphere sides in recent years, Six Nations successes and having enjoyed a spell as the number one ranked team in the world.

"We have been flat this year. When you reach a height I think there's always a risk you slip off that height a little bit," said Schmidt.

"I don't think there was any complacency but we made a target of ourselves - teams certainly went after us a little bit more where we were able to sneak up on New Zealand a couple of times and on a few other teams.

"A lot of teams when they have a really good year drop off a little bit.

"I know New Zealand were very much up for this game but we gave them a bit of a leg up and you can't afford to do that. We didn't make the most of field position and opportunity when we did make those chances.

"There were a few elements of our game that stood up really well - the line-out and the scrum I thought were solid - but you need more than that."

Codie Taylor shrugs off Conor Murray to score at the side of the posts
Codie Taylor shrugs off Conor Murray to score at the side of the posts

Schmidt now leaves his position as Ireland coach, while captain Rory Best retires from professional rugby after winning 124 caps during a 14-year Ireland career.

"I thought the All Blacks were fantastic. They were really, really clinical," said Best after the match.

"We felt we prepared well all week. We felt we had a gameplan and we had enough in our armoury to beat them.

"They started well, came out of the blocks hard at us and put us on the back foot. Like good sides do they never let us off that again.

"They didn't let us get on the front foot, get any momentum and this is a front-foot game, especially in knockout rugby.

"We'll look back at this and see how we can get better but you have to give enormous credit to the All Blacks."

Top Stories