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Will O'Callaghan
Will O'Callaghan

13.56 19 Oct 2019


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Ireland captain Rory Best has failed back-to-back champions New Zealand as "fantastic" after his side fell to a 46-14 defeat to the All-Blacks in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals. 

Aaron Smith scored two tries with Beauden Barrett, Codie Taylor, Matt Todd, George Bridge and Jordie Barrett also crossed the whitewash for New Zealand.

A late Robbie Henshaw try and a penalty try put some gloss on the scoreline for Ireland.

"The All Blacks were fantastic tonight. We felt we prepared well all week, we felt we'd a game plan, we felt we'd enough in our armoury to beat them but they just started off, came out of the blocks hard at us, put us on the back foot and like good sides do, they never let us get off that again," Best said of the defeat.

"I think they were just really really clinical. They didn't let us get on the front foot, but this is a front-foot momentum game, especially in knock-out rugby.

"The boys that are here will look back at this and they'll have to see how to get better, but I think just for this right now, you have to give enormous credit to the All Blacks, they were fantastic tonight."

It was the veteran Ulster hooker's final game before retirement:

"I've loved every minute of it, like I said at the start, the crowd have been fantastic.

"The support that I've got from home, from the fans when we're at home, when we're away, my teammates, the coaching staff and probably in particular Joe Schmidt as well, who's moving on I think, he brought Irish rugby and my game in particular to a different level when he came here and that a lot of credit goes to him and just a massive thanks to him and good luck to Kieran and the All Blacks Next week."

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