RUGBY: Historic first win for Ireland over New Zealand
IRELAND 40 NEW ZEALAND 29
Ireland’s class of 2016 stamped their names into the history books as Joe Schmidt’s side dispatched New Zealand 40-29 in Chicago for their first win over the All Blacks in 111 years of trying.
Three days after the Chicago Cubs ended a 108-year drought to land baseball’s World Series, Ireland lit up Soldier Field with their maiden win over the All Blacks at the 29th attempt.
New Zealand’s record-breaking winning run was halted at 18 Tests in the windy city, with Robbie Henshaw powering home for Ireland’s fifth and decisive try.
The last time Leinster centre Henshaw was at Soldier Field he was dancing to superstar DJ Tiesto’s tunes - this time he inked his name into Ireland’s annals.
Jordi Murphy, CJ Stander, Conor Murray, Simon Zebo and Henshaw all crossed for Ireland, who had led 30-8 on 46 minutes before New Zealand fired back into the contest.
The All Blacks cut the deficit to 33-29, but, unlike in 2013 when Ireland surrendered a 22-7 lead in 24-22 defeat, this time Schmidt’s men held on.
George Moala, TJ Perenara, Ben Smith and debutant Scott Barrett all bagged tries for New Zealand, but Steve Hansen’s back-to-back world champions were finally defeated - for the first time since August 2014.
The All Blacks were unable to extend their record-breaking 18-match winning streak, paying the price for an error-strewn first half.
Some five million people flocked to the Cubs’ victory parade on Friday, and now the scores of Irish fans in town were fully able to join the party.