Published: Thu, November 17, 2016
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Ireland dispelled All Blacks' mystique - Devin Toner

Ireland dispelled All Blacks' mystique - Devin Toner

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt expects his side to face a backlash from New Zealand when the two teams meet in Dublin on Saturday.

Ireland have no fresh injury issues after their comfortable 52-21 win over Canada on Saturday, and Iain Henderson's return to full fitness boosts resources in the second row.

"They are extremely well coached and incredibly well prepared physically, and I think the rate they play at if they have the ball, you're under pressure if they've got it".

"I read that they didn't really look back too much at the defeat to us before playing Italy this weekend. You get mistakes and it didn't put me off or anything like that".

Schmidt will recall all his big guns to host New Zealand, while the visitors are expected to be far stronger themselves.

Ireland claimed their first-ever win over New Zealand in 111 years of trying at Soldier Field on November 5, with lock Toner hopeful that historic victory carried with it some vital myth-busting.

"I think that's where we've derived most enjoyment".

The men's top five was unchanged with New Zealand atop the rankings, followed by England, Australia, South Africa and Ireland.

The key areas of improvement for New Zealand will start at line-out time, where O'Driscoll believes they were uncharacteristically inaccurate in Chicago. "We have to be aware of it but we can't be obsessed with it".

"I haven't thought about it in that sort of detail, I haven't thought about the burden of it".

"Getting down to a four-point lead and then kicking on and managing to get another score and out the game out of reach".

"They're going to have a lot of changes, they've got world-class players in Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock to come back into the row, possibly moving Jerome Kaino back to the back row where he's been fantastic for years", Cronin said.

Stellar lock Brodie Retallick will start and restore the extra play-making edge that helped New Zealand storm to a record 18 straight victories before losing to the Irish.

"They've always had the fancy moves and the flair that they have in Brian O'Driscoll and you look at Keith Wood back in Keith Wood's days - he was a hooker running in the backline as well".

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