New Zealand v Ireland: Andy Farrell calls on visitors to bring ‘chaos’ to decider
|Venue: Sky Stadium, Wellington Date: Saturday, 16 July Kick-off: 08:05 BST|
|Coverage: Live text commentary on BBC Sport website and app.|
Andy Farrell has called on his Ireland side to bring “chaos” to their series decider against New Zealand in Wellington on Saturday.
After beating the All Blacks last week in Dunedin, Ireland are seeking an unprecedented series win in New Zealand
Ireland have won four of their last seven meetings but have never beaten the All Blacks in consecutive Tests.
“We know what the history says about all that,” Farrell said.
“This is exactly where we want to be.”
Ireland capitalised on an ill-disciplined New Zealand display to level the series last Saturday.
All Blacks head coach Ian Foster has made four chances to his starting XV with experienced forwards Nepo Laulala and Sam Whitelock returning alongside dangerous backs Will Jordan and David Havili.
“They’ll be hurting, we know that they bounce back unbelievably strong, we’ve played them enough times now to realise what’s coming,” said Farrell
“They’ve got a plan but it’s up to us to make sure that we bring a bit of chaos to that plan. We’ve got to make sure that we put a bit of doubt in the All Blacks’ minds.”
‘Everything must improve’ for Ireland
After last weekend’s historic win Ireland have been keen to stress they believe they can still make considerable improvements.
Indeed they were guilty of inaccuracy during a first half in which they dominated possession and territory.
New Zealand were twice temporarily reduced to 13 men but Ireland did not capitalise on either occasion as handling errors and penalties hampered promising attacks.
“What needs to improve? Everything really,” reflected wing James Lowe.
“Our shape in attack, our speed to get set, our defence, our kicking game needs to be on the money again.
“We need to put them under as much pressure as we can. Kick pressure, high ball, ruck, back entry into the ruck, they’re all the things that go a long way to winning a rugby game.”
Born and raised in New Zealand, Lowe played for the Maori All Blacks before joining Leinster in 2017 in a move that saw him become eligible for Ireland three years later via the residency rule.
He has played three times against the nation of his birth, winning twice with the opportunity to now be part of the first Ireland side to claim an unprecedented series win in New Zealand.
“I don’t think you would be able to script that, for sure,” Lowe said of his career path.
“It was always a dream to play international rugby. To be given the opportunity in Ireland has been amazing and then to tour in New Zealand with the potential of a game-three decider, it’s an amazing opportunity and something that we’ll probably never get again.
“You don’t get to come to New Zealand very often, you don’t get to knock over New Zealand very often either, so if we can go into the summer having beaten New Zealand twice in a row then that’s huge.
“If you could tell us that at the start of the tour, we would have bitten your hand off for it.”