Farrell feels Ireland can get better after epic victory over All Blacks in Dublin

Ireland celebrate after their win over New Zealand in the Autumn International match at Aviva Stadium, Dublin on Saturday Picture: Niall Carson/PA
Paul McIntyre

IRELAND head coach Andy Farrell says that his side can still play better. That’s despite seeing off New Zealand in an epic 29-20 win at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

James Lowe’s early try gave Ireland an early foothold in the game but despite dominating proceedings for much of the opening half, Farrell’s side went in that the break trailing by five points.

After returning from ten minutes in the sin bin, Codie Taylor touched down for a New Zealand side that badly missed the influence of talisman Beauden Barrett who retired through a head injury after just 22 minutes.

A much more clinical showing from Ireland saw them convert pressure into points as tries from Ronan Kelleher and Caelan Doris helped turn the half time deficit into a ten-point lead.

Will Jordan did respond for the Kiwi’s but three Joey Carberry penalties insured victory with nine points to spare.

As well as making it seven wins from the last seven internationals, Saturday’s victory now means that Ireland have been victorious in three of the last five duels between the sides and head coach Farrell has challenged his players to back up this result and prove that Saturday’s result is no flash in the pan.

“The toughest thing in sport, certainly the top level is being consistent. When you’re chasing something down you always got a goal in sight and the hardest thing is when you keep playing well is to keep getting better,” said Farrell.

“That’s why we respect them (New Zealand) so much. They’ve been at the top so long and everyone sees it as an opportunity to play against the best team in the world and test themselves, and time and time again they keep coming up with the goods.

“The test for us has been, as you know, what we talked about the last couple of years is consistency and performance. We’ve had a few good ones. We now need to back that up with another good one next week (against Argentina),” continued Farrell.

On the win itself Farrell admitted that Ireland probably played as well as they could’ve saying.

“You need to be at your best and you probably need a bit of luck as well along the way. I don’t think we needed the luck because we were at our best probably. But the pleasing thing is that we can be better.”

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