Irish eyes were most definitely not smiling after watching their side struggle to beat Samoa - and the mood darkened as details of their Celtic cousin's capitulation at Murrayfield filtered through to the new Lansdowne Rd.

Ireland ended a six-match losing streak with an unconvincing 20-10 victory in Dublin yesterday, prompting local media to describe Sunday's (NZT) test against the All Blacks at Aviva Stadium as a humiliation-in-waiting.

"Appalling Ireland stare down barrel of disaster" and "Ruthless All Blacks send out warning to Ireland" headlined the Irish Independent's appraisal of Irish ineptitude and the All Blacks chilling 49-3 exhibition at Murrayfield.

Like Scotland, Ireland has never beaten the All Blacks in 105 years of trying, rugby correspondent George Hook could not envisage anything but another black day for the home side this weekend.

"This was an appalling performance by Ireland, irrespective of the result. The Irish tactic was based on hack and chase. They demonstrated not a jot of imagination or talent. One shudders to think of what the All Blacks might do in a week. We are staring down the barrel of a disaster."

Duncan Bech in The Telegraph was equally fearful.

"Facing their weakest opposition of the autumn and a team ranked outside the world's top 10, they toiled woefully in the third quarter and had Samoa made better use of their enormous superiority in possession and territory, Declan Kidney's side would surely have faced a second defeat of the month."

Ireland opened their autumn internationals with a 21-23 loss to the world champion Springboks; New Zealand, favourite's for next year's tournament, will be unbackable at the bookies this week after obliterating the Scots.

The Telegraph's Brendan Gallagher, in a report headed "Black all over" said the All Blacks were "in absolutely no mood to countenance any thoughts of a Scottish revival at Murrayfield.

"The All Blacks were angry at losing to Australia in Hong Kong two weeks ago, frustrated by a less than stellar performance against England and apparently outraged at the thought that Keven Mealamu could ever misbehave and be banned," Gallagher wrote.

"It was Scotland's misfortune to be next up in the firing line and although they were found badly wanting for pace and fell off tackles that should have been made, it was difficult not to sympathise for them, especially in the opening half an hour when New Zealand played rugby from another planet .... Scotland were nearly as shell-shocked as their fans as they trooped off at the break."

In The Guardian Michael Aylwin added to the despondency while marvelling at the All Blacks biggest win on Scottish soil -- and new recruit Sonny Bill Williams.

"New Zealand are not everybody's favourite team but that is basically because they beat everyone else so often and sometimes so mercilessly. And, as if they were not good enough, they now appear beyond doubt to have assimilated the talents of Sonny Bill Williams into their ranks.

"The stuff that happened round Williams represented the story of the game - a big guy in black holding the ball just out of reach of a swarm of guys in white, then flicking it to one of his mates, usually for a try."

Meanwhile, Ireland, after experiencing 22 defeats and a draw since 1905, face the ominous prospect of engaging an All Black side with the added motivation of celebrating Richie McCaw and Mils Muliaina's record-setting 93rd cap in style.

Graham Henry was coy about whether two of his veterans would play the Irish though the duo were both keen to exceed Sean Fitzpatrick's record at the earliest opportunity.

"I'm pretty keen, I'm feeling pretty good," McCaw said.

"I think after having six weeks off this was the first time I hooked back into the rhythm of playing properly. It will be nice to play next week.

Muliaina, who scored two of the All Blacks seven tries, also wanted to be involved.

"We're getting a bit of momentum, the next couple of weeks are going to be pretty big," he said, adding it was a privilege to match Fitzpatrick's tally.

"It felt like just another game but it's still a great achievement to be able to do the same number of tests as an icon like Fitzy."

- NZPA