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 victory 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 the city’s Soldier Field stadium with their maiden win over the All Blacks at the 29th attempt.
New Zealand’s record-breaking winning run was halted at 18 Tests – their last defeat was by Australia in August 2015 – after the Irish were forced to hold off a ferocious fightback in the second half, which saw the All Blacks recover from a 30-8 deficit after 46 minutes to go within four points at 33-29.
Not particularly because it is Ireland that did it, nor that it ends the winning streak. Just because beating the All Blacks in a test is one of the more difficult achievements in sport.
Difficult achievements should be applauded. As they say, this is the first time Ireland have achieved it….