Rugby World Cup 2019: Aaron Smith inspired by son Luka watching at Tokyo Stadium

Aaron Smith had extra inspiration to perform in the All Blacks' quarter-final against Ireland, with a special spectator watching from the stands at Tokyo Stadium on Saturday night.

The halfback was at his sublime best, scoring two tries, as the All Blacks blitzed Ireland 46-14 to reach the World Cup semi-finals.

Afterwards, the 30-year-old revealed he was spurred on to play his best, with fiancée Tegan Voykovich and baby son Luka watching in the stands. 

Luka was born on August 28, just before Smith departed for Japan for the World Cup, but he made the trip over to watch the dad. 

Smith said he wanted to put on a show that his son would be proud of, when he looked back in the future. 

Rugby World Cup 2019: Aaron Smith inspired by son Luka watching at Tokyo Stadium

"I think a lot of it was just trying to put a performance out there that represented my little boy," he said. 

"He was in the grandstand for the first time, I could feel him there... with Tegan there, my little boy there. 

"I was happy I put a performance that, hopefully, he can be proud of. One day, he can look back on and say, 'You were there little man, you helped me get that win that night'."

As a tribute to Luka, Smith formed an 'L' sign with his hands, after scoring both tries. 

"Yeah, I chucked it up for Luca... I was just fizzed, man. He arrived last week, really special. Every game I've played since becoming a father has been pretty emotional and special, but just having him there tonight was really settling, knowing he was there.

"I was looking a lot, this week, at footage, with chances around the breakdown for a run. There were opportunities and I'm just really happy I took them."

Smith added the team had encouraged him to run more from the breakdown and his darting runs kept Ireland guessing, 

"I get a bit of stick for not running more. I'm always a person who runs when it's on." 

Playmaker Richie Mo'unga added that Smith's runs brought a new dimension to the All Blacks attack. 

"For us outside him, it means that we might have to go in an extra five metres to just create space out wide.

"It changes the dynamics of how a team defends, because you have to, all of a sudden, take into consideration forwards, a nine like 'Nuggie' [Smith] just sniping around... it means that they've got to consider him.

"It was awesome for him just to see gaps and snipe around there."

Essential Guide to 2019 Rugby World Cup

Everything you need to know about rugby and the World Cup...

The ninth Rugby World Cup kicks off on September 20 in Japan - the first time it has been hosted in Asia.

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