How the world media reacted to the All Blacks' convincing Rugby World Cup quarter-final win over Ireland in Tokyo.

Irish media

Leading Irish rugby writers have slammed Ireland's 46-14 Rugby World Cup quarter-final loss to the All Blacks as "humiliating" and a "sorry end" to Joe Schmidt's era as head coach.

The Irish Independent's Ruaidhri O'Connor said it was supposed to be the best coached, best prepared Ireland team in World Cup history but that the former World No 1 side will now leave Japan in humiliation after an "abject, error-strewn performance".

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"The Joe Schmidt era was built on a number of fundamentals, with accuracy and discipline high on the list. It is now over after a night littered by mistakes and penalties," he wrote.


"They have enjoyed great success under the departing head coach, but when it mattered most they gave a performance that will haunt them for the rest of their days."

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Meanwhile, the Irish independent's columnist Cian Tracey said Ireland's inability to execute the basics will leave them with a "sour taste".

"This time four years ago, Ireland trailed Argentina 17-0 inside 13 minutes. It took New Zealand 22 minutes to run riot and clock up the same unassailable lead.

"It felt like we were reliving that Cardiff nightmare all over again. Nothing was ever supposed to be as bad as that, yet here we were."

All Blacks halfback Aaron Smith scoring his second try. Photo / Mark Mitchell
All Blacks halfback Aaron Smith scoring his second try. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Under the headline, "All Blacks obliterate Ireland," writer Murray Kinsella said the Irish side will leave the World Cup embarrassed.

"Joe Schmidt enjoyed some wonderful days during his time as Ireland head coach, but his reign came to an end in a sad, sorry way in Tokyo," he wrote.

"Facing his native New Zealand in the World Cup quarter-finals and after Ireland had spoken up their confidence all week, Schmidt had to watch on as his team were comprehensively embarrassed by the brilliant seven-try All Blacks."


The Irish Times praised the All Blacks' performance as "peerless".

"There is nothing to be ashamed about in losing to one of the most formidable teams the game has produced and, as has been evidenced over the past month, one with a supernatural ability to shape-shift and reinvent. But it was a shame that Ireland could not at least find anything like the best of themselves over this night," Keith Duggan wrote.

The loss didn't sit so well with commentators and fans on social media either.

"This is as bad as Ireland have produced under Schmidt, a disastrous performance. Making it easy for the [All Blacks]," O'Connor tweeted.

One fan wrote: "Its [sic] not that Ireland lost as thats [sic] understandable against a team like New Zealand but Ireland just not turning up is a bitter pill to swallow."

World media

New Zealand feasted on Ireland's mistakes like a shoal of starving piranhas... and there were a lot of mistakes to gorge on - by Daniel Schofield of The Telegraph

"And England thought they had made a statement. Shortly after Eddie Jones' team entered Tokyo's most exclusive club, the All Blacks breezed in for their date wearing double-denim complete with crocodile-skin loafers and a cravat.

"All eyes on them now after this most comprehensive of quarter-final victories, a seven-try rout of a side who had beaten them just 11 months ago. The scoreline may have had a similar feel to England's victory to Australia but the display was from a different planet. New Zealand feasted on Ireland's mistakes like a shoal of starving piranhas. And there were a lot of mistakes, more than in any other game of the Joe Schmidt era. The most clinical and calculating of teams was reduced to a rabble.

"This was a complete performance stemming from dominance up front and control of the collisions. On the previous occasions that they had beaten New Zealand, Ireland had made lightning starts, setting the tone with their ferocity in the tackle and carry. Opposite the All Blacks, they were as passive as the felines of Tokyo's cat cafes."

New Zealand thrash Ireland to set up World Cup semi-final with England - by Paul Rees of The Guardian

"The forecast rain did not turn up but a big black cloud did. New Zealand are never more menacing than when they are portrayed as vulnerable, but they left Ireland scattered all over the turf after ruthlessly battering them up front in an awesome display of power and precision to set up a semi-final against England.

"The two head coaches stood on the halfway line while their teams were warming up, casually chatting for more than five minutes as if a knockabout were about to start rather than a World Cup quarter-final. New Zealand's Steve Hansen was in a suit, like the rest of his management team, while Joe Schmidt was kitted out, like the rest of his coaches.

"Therein lay a difference. Ireland went through a number of drills with their coaches armed with whistles. The All Blacks merely warmed up, throwing passes and running into tackle-bag holders while their coaches watched, largely, from afar, as if taking a mere passing interest. The difference between school and university?"

All Blacks halfback Aaron Smith scoring his second try. Photo / Mark Mitchell
All Blacks halfback Aaron Smith scoring his second try. Photo / Mark Mitchell

All Blacks put England on notice with seven-try battering of Ireland - by Greg Stutchbury of the Sydney Morning Herald

"Certainly England will provide a better test for the holders, having earlier thrashed Australia 40-16 in the first quarter-final in Oita. Hosts Japan face South Africa, and Wales meet France in the remaining quarters on Sunday.

"The All Blacks had not played for almost two weeks since their 71-9 victory over Namibia at the same ground after tournament organisers cancelled their final pool game against Italy due to Typhoon Hagibis.

"They also had not been really challenged since their tournament opener against South Africa four weeks ago and fans were concerned they could be underprepared for the intensity of a World Cup knockout match.

"Steve Hansen's side allayed those fears with a blistering and bruising performance where they constantly drove Ireland back at the breakdown and in the tackle and never allowed them to get their close-running game going."

All Blacks reach Rugby World Cup semifinals with seven-try demolition of Ireland - by Matias Grez of CNN

"New Zealand raised the bar once again at this Rugby World Cup quarterfinal match by booking its place in the semifinals with a seven-try, 46-14 mauling of Ireland.

"The combination of consistently scintillating play from the All Blacks and sloppy errors by Ireland made this match a mismatch from the first to the 80th minute.

"Few teams have been able to thwart the All Blacks in recent years quite like Ireland, winning two of their previous three encounters.

"While the All Blacks arguably still command more respect than any other rugby nation, those two wins have helped remove a sense of mystique and almost mythical invincibility.

"But if the opening 20 minutes in Tokyo's Ajinomoto Stadium were anything to go by, Hansen had clearly got the upper hand over his counterpart and compatriot, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt."

An emotional Rory Best of Ireland after losing to the All Blacks. Photo / Getty
An emotional Rory Best of Ireland after losing to the All Blacks. Photo / Getty

Spine-tingling All Blacks raise the bar far too high for Ireland (and everyone else?) - by Tom Hamilton of ESPN

"The All Blacks don't need to be reminded of their defeats; they wear them, carry them around in their daily lives.

"Nor do they overreact when they win, it's all part of the journey. But even Steve Hansen took time to single out Kieran Read's performance and their attacking play as they swiped aside Ireland 46-14 and returned to familiar surroundings in the semifinals. Gone were their two recent defeats by this same Ireland team, in Chicago in 2016 and Dublin last year. But they most certainly hadn't been forgotten.

"The old adage went that you didn't win the sport's biggest prize by playing expansive, free-flowing rugby. Instead you'd play the corners, in a paint-by-numbers style and it worked. But this lot want to cast that aside as an anachronism. This class want to win their third World Cup on the bounce playing rugby with handling of such precision it gives you shivers down your spine. Where Australia foundered earlier in the day, New Zealand thrived."

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