Steve Hansen suggests injuries led to Ireland's win in Chicago

Joe Schmidt's men won 40-29 in November

BY Simon Maguire 17:30 Tuesday 16 May 2017, 17:30 16 May 2017

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen congratulates Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt after the game. Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

New Zealand Head Coach Steve Hansen is hoping the Lions don't look into Ireland's historic win over the All Blacks in Chicago too much ahead of this summer's tour.

Ireland beat the back-to-back world champions 40-29 to secure their first ever win over New Zealand last November.

Joe Schmidt's men also ended the All Blacks' consecutive win record at 18 in America.

Lions coach Warren Gatland has previously praised the Irish performance that day which showed the best team in the world could make mistakes and aren't invincible.

However, Hansen has pointed to a number of key injuries which may have led to the unexpected result.

"If the Lions are going to read too much into that, it would be a mistake because they are not Ireland, they are the Lions," he told The Telegraph

"I'm sure Gatland will come with his own style and way of wanting to play the game and that will not be the same as Joe Schmidt. It was inevitable at some point for us.

Ireland's Donnacha Ryan celebrates winning. Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

"We could look at the fact that we had three top locks out and other absences too. But then we would be ignoring the inconvenient fact that we didn't play well. So, there were some good lessons in there for us."

New Zealand were without star locks Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock and had a couple of other injuries that day.

Of course, Hansen failed to mention that Ireland were also under-strength as Schmidt was unable to call upon Sean O'Brien, Peter O'Mahony, Iain Henderson and Keith Earls for the famous win


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