The All Blacks have gone from unsinkable to the unthinkable.

The wondrous 2016 season of glorious attack came unstuck in Chicago. Ireland, who were 9 - 1 outsiders at Soldier Field, are good chances to make it two in a row when the teams face each other again on November 20.

The upcoming match in Dublin always shaped as a tough one, but is now the hottest ticket in our sport for many years as the rivalry with Ireland blossoms. After 111 years without a win against New Zealand, Ireland are well placed to go back-to-back, having comprehensively outplayed the All Blacks in Chicago.

The 2013 match in Dublin, where the All Blacks performed one of rugby's finest escape acts, is further evidence that Ireland have a game the world champions struggle with.


Self-belief is a vital ingredient at this level, and Ireland will have it in spades. Until Chicago, there was a suspicion that this was the vital missing ingredient. As the All Blacks mounted a comeback, history was poised to repeat itself. Instead, history was made. Ireland re-grouped, and finished the stronger with the All Black shambles including poor scrum defence and scruffy passing.

Joe Schmidt's Ireland can also become the first team from the Home Nations to beat the All Blacks twice in one season. But beware a wounded All Black side. As our list shows, they rarely concede twice in a row to the same team in the same year.