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JOE SCHMIDT’S IRELAND will face World Cup favourites New Zealand in their quarter-final at Tokyo Stadium next Saturday 19 October [KO 11.15am Irish time, eir Sport/RTÉ].
Japan’s scintillating 28-21 win over Scotland today confirmed that Ireland finish as runners-up in Pool A, meaning they meet Steve Hansen’s men after the Kiwis were Pool B winners.
Saturday, which will begin with England’s clash with Australia (kick-off 08.15), will then see the fourth meeting between Ireland and the All Blacks in the last four years. Schmidt’s men have won two of the last three clashes.
Sunday’s quarter-finals will see Wales take on France (kick-off 08.15) before Japan face Rassie Erasmus’ Springboks hoping for a repeat of their momentous win in Brighton four years ago (kick-off 11.15).
Ireland have had some good days against the Kiwis in recent years.
Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO
Ireland recorded their first-ever win over the Kiwis in 2016 in Chicago, before New Zealand recovered to beat them in Dublin a fortnight later.
However, Schmidt’s side repeated their winning feat on home soil last November, a stunning Jacob Stockdale try helping them to a memorable 16-9 success.
The All Blacks will naturally go into next weekend’s quarter-final as the favourites to advance into a semi-final against the winner of the England v Australia clash, but Ireland can take a degree of confidence from knowing they have beaten the All Blacks so recently.
“I suppose you can draw a bit of confidence from that but rugby evolves and it e
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