View from New Zealand: All Blacks face one of their toughest tests in Dublin

Ireland’s 2019 World Cup conquerors haven’t faced much top-class opposition in 2021

Ireland players celebrate Jacob Stockdale scoring a try during the win over New Zealand in 2018. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Ireland players celebrate Jacob Stockdale scoring a try during the win over New Zealand in 2018. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Only the All Blacks could be sitting on 12 wins from 13 Tests in 2021 and fretting that their season will have the taint of failure clinging to it should they lose in Dublin.

The All Blacks are held to different expectations to the rest of the rugby world, but to even consider branding a season in which they have spent the last 12 weeks away from home in a bio-bubble almost disastrous because of just two defeats in 14 Tests, seems out-of-whack even for the mostly out-of-whack Kiwi rugby fraternity.

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