Rugby World Cup: World media reacts to All Blacks' quarter-final triumph over Ireland

  • 15/10/2023

The All Blacks set the rugby world and keyboards alight with their dramatic quarter-final victory over Ireland on Sunday (NZ time).

Here's what the rest of the planet had to say about Sunday's scintillating showdown in Paris.

New Zealand hold off Ireland in titanic battle to reach World Cup semi-finals

Michael Aylwin - The Guardian

"The agony goes on. Ireland must wonder what they have to do to break this quarter-final curse, how long to spend as No 1 in the world, how many grand slams to win, how many victories in a row. Instead, let the record state: eight quarter-finals, eight defeats.

"So much came to an end. Not just the dream of a World Cup semi-final; not just the career of Johnny Sexton, who wandered the pitch in tears at the end; not just a run of 17 consecutive Test wins, only one shy of the record held by England and, yes, these blessed All Blacks.

"And for the All Blacks the record reads: nine quarter-finals, eight wins. How New Zealand have suffered themselves of late, toppled for some time from their perch as the perennial champions of all things rugby union. 

"This may not mean a return to the top for them just yet –although they must feel a semi-final against Argentina is eminently winnable – but that familiar precision, that doggedness in defence, that nose for victory has been regained."

Will Jordan on his way to score.
Will Jordan on his way to score. Photo credit: Getty Images

Ireland endure another Rugby World Cup quarter-final nightmare defeat to New Zealand

Gavin Mairs - Telegraph UK

"It was a game so compelling and of such quality that it deserved to be the final. New Zealand’s reward is a semi-final against Argentina and they will now fancy their chances of going all the way now. One wonders if Ireland will ever get such a chance again.

"It was a cruel end to a glittering career for the 38-year-old Sexton, who had hoped to take Ireland into the uncharted waters of a semi-final for the first time in World Cup history.

"Yet once again it was New Zealand who brought their knock-out hopes to a crushing end, just as they had done four years ago in Japan, and once again proved that being the number one side in the world rankings counts for little when it matters most."

All Blacks keep quarter-final curse alive

Stephen Jones – The Times UK

"Not for the first time, an outstanding rugby team fell victim to the nous and pride of the All Blacks. The teams hardly compared with their recent form — Ireland were way ahead, encouraging the highest hopes, and the sensational setting last evening at the Stade de France had contained vast waves of expectation that Ireland would reach the semi- final simply as a prelude.

"But they did not, and were never really established in a winning position, for all their passion and effort. New Zealand brought with them the archetypal game plan to beat Ireland, with a range of clever kicks into space, a refusal to simply hoof every kick back from whence it came, and they also had the class in their attacking game to score when it became vital.

"Bundee Aki was brilliant for Ireland, and it was right at the end, with New Zealand having to make score after score of tackles, that they began to waver for the first time. Ireland made gallant and optimistic efforts in the last few minutes and even more when time had elapsed, but it was staggering how well New Zealand defended."

Aaron Smith after the final whistle.
Aaron Smith after the final whistle. Photo credit: Getty Images

All Blacks seal famous quarter-final win over Ireland  

By Simon Chapman – Nine Sports Australia  

"Doubt them if you dare. The All Blacks are inevitable.

"In the test of the tournament, New Zealand edged Ireland in a battle that will go down as one of the greatest contests of all time between the two sides. All told, the scoreline read 28-24.

"For Ireland, the curse remains. For the ninth time, they've made it to a quarter-final only to fall short. 

"If there was ever a time to break the hoodoo, it was to be in 2023 as the world's No.1 team.

"Ultimately, the weight of expectation was too much. Even though New Zealand conceded two yellow cards, Ireland couldn't overcome the deficit and trailed for the entire match.

"When it counted, New Zealand's best stood up. Sam Cane led by example with veterans Ardie Savea, Richie Mo'unga, and Barrett brothers Beauden and Jordie the standouts."

Join Newshub at 8am Saturday for live updates of the All Blacks v Argentina World Cup semi-final