Rory Best: "History is made, it's been a long time coming"

The Irish captain lead his team to a historic victory over New Zealand

BY Adrian Collins 23:21 Saturday 5 November 2016, 23:21 5 Nov 2016

Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Ireland made history on Saturday night in Chicago as they overcame New Zealand for the first time. 

Tries from CJ Stander, Conor Murray, Jordi Murphy, Simon Zebo and Robbie Henshaw gave Ireland a 40-29 win against a side that had come into the match on an 18-game winning streak. 

History was against Ireland, and after disappointment in 2013, it was clear to the players just how much it meant to finally get the long-awaited win that many of them had come so close to before.  

Speaking after the game, captain Rory Best paid tribute to the opponents they faced on the day, pointing out just how much every player needed to put in to win that game. 

"We know they're a great side, and you can see how good a side they are by how much it means to our boys to have won that. We just knew we had to go out and attack them. If you give them ball and stand off them, they are an unbelievably dangerous outfit.

"I couldn't be prouder of the work we put in over the last...look it hasn't just been the last week, the last couple of weeks. It has been a long time in coming. It's been a long time and it's history made.

"We're absolutely estatic with a marvellous performance by us."

Hailing the fans at Soldier Field, Best said: "The atmosphere here it felt like a home game to us, I suppose now we're going to have to dye the river green for this one!"

At the start of the game, Ireland's players formed a number eight on the pitch in response to the Haka, a tribute to the late Anthony Foley who passed away last month. 

That emotion and desire fuelled much of the performance on the night, and Best said in the wake of the game that "it was the right thing to do."

"It was something that we'd talked about with management with the players," Best explained. "A lot has been made of the really sad news that Munster got a few weeks ago, and it it was the national team's first time together since his passing. We just felt it was the right thing to do, and to put the Munster boys at the front of that."

"It was our way as a national team to show a mark of respect to Axel and his family."

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