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Tuesday 24 April 2018

A Black day

McCaw admits if would have been 'game over' at Aviva if Sexton hadn't missed kick

Ireland's Jonathan Sexton reacts after missing a kick in the 74th minute of the game. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Ireland's Jonathan Sexton reacts after missing a kick in the 74th minute of the game. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

ALL BLACK captain Richie McCaw agreed that, had Ireland out-half Jonathan Sexton struck home a 74th-minute penalty, it would have been "game over" at a fabulously frenetic Aviva Stadium.

"When that missed, you could see a sense of lift in the boys. There was still a chance," said McCaw after New Zealand had launched one last raid to win 24-22 and break Irish hearts yesterday.

New Zealand's injury-time try by replacement Ryan Crotty and converted by Aaron Cruden prevented Ireland's first win over the All Blacks in 108 years and 28 test matches.

Their coach Steven Hansen added: "Every time we play them, they're tough. But, sometimes, I don't know that they believe that they are as tough as they are.

"It is important that you don't see this as the All Blacks not turning up today. They turned up. But Ireland turned up as well. They forced the mistakes early. It wasn't because we weren't mentally there."

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