Ireland's Kiwi coach Joe Schmidt says he feels "broken"
"I don’t have an excuse or a reason for it. You can’t afford to give the All Blacks points. It was a bit flat, on the back of having a few niggles. We were not sure of the team until Thursday. I thought we needed to get off to a good start and if we didn’t we would be a bit vulnerable."
On not making the last four, he said: "That is the one thing that continues to remain elusive. Heartbroken would not be far away from how I feel and how the players feel.
"After the November series we wanted to make sure this was our target and maybe it consumed us too much and we got distracted from the focus."
He added: "You carry your scars a lot more than your successes and the scars are deep and that is why I am broken by it. But when I get some distance to reflect, we’ve had maybe 75 test matches and won 75 per cent of them."
"The Irish fans drowned out the pre-match haka with a rendition of ‘Fields of Athenry’ and the atmosphere was electric.
"Talk about poking the bear."
Ireland were neither and so they were hit by this runaway train of an All Blacks side that has found itself at precisely the sort of time that is quite useful for teams to find themselves.
Some may be keen to now stamp them as champions-elect after demolishing Ireland. Maybe they are, although England and South Africa would wriggle a bit about that."
All eyes on them now after this most comprehensive of quarter-final victories, a seven-try rout of a side who had beaten them just 11 months ago. The scoreline may have had a similar feel to England’s victory to Australia but the display was from a different planet. New Zealand feasted on Ireland’s mistakes like a shoal of starving piranhas. And there were a lot of mistakes, more than in any other game of the Joe Schmidt era. The most clinical and calculating of teams was reduced to a rabble. That’s the All Blacks’ effect. “They were stifling,” Schmidt admitted. “They made it very hard for us to breathe. What was most frustrating was that when we had opportunities to breath we gave them back the oxygen by missing touch.”
This was a complete performance stemming from dominance up front and control of the collisions. On the previous occasions that they had beaten New Zealand, Ireland had made lightning starts, setting the tone with their ferocity in the tackle and carry. Opposite the All Blacks, they were as passive as the felines of Tokyo’s cat cafes."
The Irish writer New Zealanders love to hate is back with another criticism of Kiwis following the All Blacks' 46-14 quarter-final demolition of Ireland.
Ewan MacKenna, an award winning rugby writer known for his controversial and reactive takes on social media, has doubled down on his anti-haka stance, this time calling out New Zealand for its supposed "neediness and insecurity".
Read more here: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=12278046
For the non-believers, the evolution of the All Blacks must now be clear.
With one dagger blow to their nemesis of recent years, the All Blacks proved how far they have come, and how difficult they will be to stop claiming three successive Rugby World Cup titles.
Steve Hansen's faith in the fearless backline youth groomed by the Crusaders sure paid off on this occasion, though credit for the clinical nature of this remarkable performance stretches much wider than the highlight reel will show."
More here: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=12278019
A series of peppering questions finally caused him to challenge a reporter.
"It's a cruel, cruel world nowadays when you're asked those questions two minutes after your World Cup is finished," Cheika said.
"If you'd find it inside you to find a little bit of compassion to just ask more relevant questions ... think about peoples' feelings for a minute. Just chill."
Asked if the Australian public deserved an answer, Cheika said: "When the time comes, I'll tell them. They don't need to know today, it's not going to kill them."
Aussie rugby commentators were confident it would be the last time Cheika led the Aussies into battle.
Aaron Smith was the highest rated All Black in their 46-14 quarter-final win over Ireland according to the Herald's interactive tool My All Blacks Ratings.
The All Black No 9, who was given a perfect 10 by the Herald's rugby expert, also topped the audience ratings with an average score of 8.94 for his two-try performance in Tokyo.
Second on the audience list was fullback Beauden Barrett, who was named as the official player of the match, with an average score of 8.58.
Top rated players according to the Herald's audience (average score):
Aaron Smith 8.94 (Herald score: 10)
Beauden Barrett 8.58 (7)
Kieran Read 8.29 (8)
Richie Mo'unga 8.13 (6)
Ardie Savea 8.12 (5)
Sevu Reece 8.05 (8)
George Bridge 7.79 (7)
Jack Goodhue 7.55 (7)
Anton Lienert-Brown 7.48 (6)
Sam Whitelock 7.46 (9)
Codie Taylor 7.47 (6)
Joe Moody 7.47 (8)
Brodie Retallick 7.31 (6)
Scott Barrett 7.28 (6)
Sam Cane 7.23 (7)
Jordie Barrett 6.99 (7)
Dane Coles 6.99 (6)
Nepo Laulala 6.9 (5)
Sonny Bill Williams 6.8 (5)
TJ Perenara 6.72 (6)
Matt Todd 6.67 (5)
Ofa Tuungafasi 6.57 (5)
Angus Ta'avao 6.47 (5)