Keith Wood on Jonathan Sexton "looking like a different man this season"

Former Ireland captain reflects on win over the All Blacks

Jonathan Sexton, Ireland

Ireland's Jonathan Sexton celebrates winning ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Keith Wood is enthused by how revitalised Jonathan Sexton looks for Leinster and Ireland.

The former Ireland captain was in attendance at Soldier Field, Chicago to see "magnificent" history made and with a few days having elapsed, he joined Off The Ball to analyse what Joe Schmidt's side did so well.

And he picked out Sexton as someone who looks like a "different man" to last season.

"Jonathan Sexton has looked like a different man all season. He hasn't played a huge amount of rugby but by God, does he look happier. He hasn't been carrying the after-effects of some of the hits he had last year," he said.

"If you look at his body language, even his demeanour at the start of the Six Nations to what he has the other day. He was not as angry. He looked unbelievably composed."   

Keith also spoke about the team in general against the All Blacks and the composure that led to victory.

"I did think our control was excellent. But if I was to be honest, I thought we attacked New Zealand in any place where they had a bit of weakness and it's very hard when talking New Zealand [to say] 'where the weaknesses are,'" he said.

"I also loved the fact of how Ireland did not lose any discipline at ruck time and to see suddenly watch a New Zealand team being pinged off the park in the first half, I thought the yellow card could have gone the other way because he did land on his shoulder - but it was shoulder and hip at the same time - but they would have definitely lost another player to persistent infringement if he hadn't gone off.

"They were rattled and badly rattled very early but Ireland seemed composed. So it was the composure all along. It wasn't from a couple of years ago which I thought was incredibly brutal on the Irish body."