Alan Quinlan was on Monday’s OTB AM and felt that Ireland shouldn’t be fearful of the All Blacks in their upcoming Rugby World Cup quarter-final clash.
New Zealand are unbeaten so far in the tournament and got off to a great start when they triumphed over the Springboks in the opening round.
However, it certainly wasn’t a comfortable victory as South Africa controlled most of the territory and possession, with Steve Hansen’s side relying on moments of magic to win the game.
“I think there was a period of 20 minutes in that first half which made them look quite ordinary. [South Africa] just didn’t convert the pressure and dominance they had.
“They got two tries, which we know they can do, they can score from anywhere. But it was probably against the run of play,” Quinlan said.
While New Zealand did well to win that game they were far from perfect in the run-up to the World Cup, only winning one of three games in the Rugby Championship.
“They’re uber-confident when they get into that position but they’ve shown vulnerability this year against Australia in Perth and at home in Wellington against South Africa.
“So I don’t think we should fear them as much as we may have done before. Which can be dangerous because you need a fear factor against them.
“But I think there are enough Irish guys involved in this team that know in very simple terms where you’ve got to be to have a chance against New Zealand.
“You cannot let them bully you. If you get opportunities, i.e. a line break - someone’s got to be on his shoulder and convert it. Because you won’t get many opportunities against them,” Quinlan explained.
Ireland cannot sit back and let New Zealand attack
The former Munster and Ireland player felt that Ireland will need to attack the reigning world champions on Saturday if they hope to be successful.
“If they go back to Chicago two years ago and they way Ireland retained the ball and put width in the game and attacked New Zealand.
“You just cannot sit back and wait for New Zealand and contain them. You’ve got to play against them. You’ve got to get the basics right obviously.
“They’ve got to play a little bit then and put a bit of width in the game and get the ball to Stockdale and Earls,” Quinlan said.
Ireland take on the All Blacks in Tokyo this Saturday as they hope to reach the semi-finals for the first time in their history.