If the Irish victory in Dunedin against the All Blacks this Saturday was historic, it was for two reasons. The first, the most obvious, because Ireland won for the first time in its history in New Zealand. For more than a century of rugby, the Greens have never won against the All Blacks. The second reason, because Clover coach Andy Farrell, became the coach who beat New Zealand the most times as a manager. Winner at 6 times men in black, he succeeds Rod Macqueen, former Wallabies coach who beat the New Zealanders five times between 1997 and 2000.
While coaches like Rassie Erasmus, Fabien Galthié, Eddie Jones, have been glorified in the past by beating the Kiwis once or twice, Andy Farrell has already done so six times. To tell you the incredible performance of the former rugby 13 player in Wigan.
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Farrell, now beaten the silver fern team 6 times in his coaching career. In 2012 with England as assistant to Stuart Lancaster. In 2017 with the British and Irish Lions in the second Test. In 2016 and 2018 as assistant to Joe Schmidt with Ireland. And finally 2021 and therefore 2022 as coach. With each victory, the massive contribution of the native of Wigan, former star of rugby at 13, was evoked and praised by observers. His contribution with his inverted and aggressive defense, inspired by rugby 13, has each time allowed his team to win.
Although New Zealand still managed to score tries, the teams coached by Farrell reduced the force of protection to the maximum in their in-goal. Above all, the beginnings of canon matches allowed England or Ireland to win the match. Like this Saturday in Dunedin, an incredible start to the game from the Irish, who literally grabbed disillusioned Kiwis by the throat and were completely lost on the pitch, made the difference. As well as a smoothly mastered end of the game in defense, where the Irish scratchers made the difference. Ireland’s inverted defense forced New Zealand to play inside at times. The Doris, Van der Flier and Beirne will not be asked to recover convicts and win their ground competitions.
VIDEO RECOVERY. History! Ireland beat the All Blacks for the first time in New Zealand
If defending well saves games and wins competitions, you must also know how to attack well to claim to beat New Zealand. The drastic changes made in the Irish style of play, still inspired by rugby at 13 (the empty and redoubled runs offered to the ball carrier), added to the dynamism of the front package which puts rhythm in the release of the ball, give reason to Farrell.
These changes were possible thanks to mental work asked of the players by the coach. The latter, as with the Lions and England, makes his players, men who are no longer impressed by New Zealand, and therefore no longer ferment the game during matches. The changes Farrell brought to Ireland’s style of play were possible through collective soul-searching. Accepting a Tour in New Zealand, with two more games during the week, is a sign that the players have been tested and must surpass themselves. A drastic change when you know that Ireland had the unfortunate habit in recent years of relying too much on the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, and therefore being very friable outside.
Andy Farrell coach or selector, it is above all the desire to give his players the mental capacities not to be impressed by the legendary All Blacks team. And that’s probably why, in addition to his aggressive defensive strategy and his offensive game plan, he managed to beat New Zealand 6 times in his career.
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