Lansdowne Road roars as Ireland make All Blacks history
Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team
Bundee Aki hugs Tadhg Furlong after Ireland’s win over the All Blacks. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho
Today the nation walks to work with a spring in its step after a weekend to remember - on Saturday night Ireland beat the All Blacks 16-9 in Dublin, a first win over the Kiwis on home soil in 113 years of trying. And Joe Schmidt has said this victory - clinched thanks to a stunning Jacob Stockdale try - is even sweeter than the one in Chicago two years ago, because it came in front of thunderous home support: “It’s a bit special at home and it was a bit special tonight because of what happened in 2013, and because of how the crowd were. I thought the crowd were unbelievable and if you need a 16th man, there’s not many better places to go than Aviva Stadium, Dublin.” And this is echoed by Keith Duggan, who was there to witness Schmidt’s side make history: “Lansdowne games have always responded to the voltage of its patrons and on Saturday night, as mighty New Zealand wobbled, the noise was as never before.” However, Malachy Clerkin has warned it could yet all end in tears. He writes: “We can’t help ourselves when it comes to taking something good and rack-stretching it till it screams for mercy. We will make a holy show of ourselves with this between now and the World Cup.”
Elsewhere Ballygunner are Munster SHC champions after they beat Na Piarsaigh 2-14 to 2-8 in Semple Stadium, the Waterford side keeping the Limerick champions to just 1-1 from play as they finally secured a second provincial title after 17 years of waiting. Meanwhile Henry Shefflin is one game away from another Leinster SHC title - this time as a manager - after Ballyhale Shamrocks thrashed Naomh Éanna 6-21 to 4-11 at Wexford Park. They will meet Ballyboden St Enda’s in the final after they needed two periods of extra-time to beat Offaly’s Coolderry 5-28 to 5-25 in a Parnell Park epic.