World Cup: Points to remember from the New Zealanders’ success against XV du Trèfle in the quarter-finals

World Cup: Points to remember from the New Zealanders’ success against XV du Trèfle in the quarter-finals

In a high-profile quarter-final match, Ireland and New Zealand put up a tough battle. Like the last Dantesque match, Ireland tried everything, but the Blacks were in a better position on Saturday evening at the Stade de France.

Irish resilience. Just when we thought they were at the bottom of the bucket, on the hour mark, the Irish sent a furious ball into the net, synonymous with a penalty attempt. With much of the match difficult, this action was the spark that reignited the flame…but in the end to no avail.

Invasion of New Zealand. After being shaken against France a month ago, the Blacks won this crucial sector on Saturday evening. The touchline was also decisive in their favour, thanks to some very important counter-attacks, such as Savea’s effort (33rd).

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Savea and Monga at the top. If New Zealand has regained its lustre, it owes it to some of its leaders. Savea’s performance was great, both defensively and when he had the ball in his hand. When he plays at this level, he has very few equals.

Energetic and inspiring hosts, fly-half Mo’unga put in a first-class performance on Jordan’s second-half try (54). His direct penetration on the side throw was exemplary.

Bondi Aki. He kept his team afloat for a long time. Ubiquitous with the ball in his hands, and overly dominant in his unique scoring, the Irishman has beaten an incredible number of defenders, including with his effort (27).

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New Zealand defence. In an amazing match characterized by high-quality attacks, the defense of the Black team was royal. On the ground, in the line, and in the intensity of the tackles, Kane, Savea and others have built on their success.

In Saint-Denis, Christophe Bouron

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