As the clock hit 80 minutes, the screaming began.

An ocean and half a continent away, the Irish rugby team had done the previously impossible. They had beaten the world champion All Blacks for the first time in the rival sides' 111-year playing history.

At O'Hagan's Irish Pub in Auckland, Mark Moynihan leapt atop the barstool on which he had anxiously perched and screamed his joy at the final score of 40-29.

The former Cork man was 13,000km away from the action at Soldier Field in Chicago, but that mattered nought.

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Moynihan, 47, stood howling and hollering, fist-pumping the air.

"What's this going to do for young lads? Now they have heroes to look up to that beat the All Blacks."

Moynihan's stool teetered slightly but stayed upright. It was more than Moynihan had planned.

With a bike outside, orange juice in his glass and $1600 winnings from a $20 bet on Ireland, he was thinking of his Mangere Bridge home, and a much stiffer brew.

He was far from the only one stunned by his team's triumph, following a dominating performance and never-say-die attitude.

At O'Hagan's, as around the world, Irish fans exploded with joy at their team's unexpected triumph.

The first half opened up the whisper of possibility and then a try by the Irish in the opening minutes of the second half sent a chill through All Black supporters.

"We were ready to go home at half-time," said Tony Giles, 49, of Auckland's North Shore.

"I was texting my wife to come and get us."

With the second half well under way, he was more optimistic.

There was drama, for sure.

Once of Dublin but now of Auckland, Brian Gavin's head sank into his hands, and he peered between fingers to watch the All Blacks tighten the score.

"For a while it looked like the All Blacks were going to come back and break Irish hearts again. How many generations of Irish men have watched the Irish fall to the All Blacks?" Gavin said.

And Giles, who stayed for the second half?

"Ireland fully deserved their victory. They were the better team," he said, before adding quickly: "On the day."

Bring on Dublin.

Ireland fan Mark Moynihan celebrates the win over the All Blacks at O'Hagan's Irish bar, in Auckland. Picture / Dean Purcell
Ireland fan Mark Moynihan celebrates the win over the All Blacks at O'Hagan's Irish bar, in Auckland. Picture / Dean Purcell