DUBLIN, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Ireland laid down a massive marker ahead of next year’s World Cup by beating holders New Zealand for just the second time with a compelling 16-9 victory in a clash of the world’s top two teams on Saturday.
Just two years after claiming an All Black scalp for the first time in a famous day in Chicago, the champions of the northern hemisphere dominated the best the south has to offer for 40 minutes only to have a 9-6 lead to show for it.
They stretched the advantage to the kind of lead their control of the game deserved when wing Jacob Stockdale superbly finished off a fine Ireland move for the 12th and most important try of his young, 14-test career.
The game inevitably opened up and New Zealand’s backline became more of a feature but Ireland’s tireless defence stood tall as they toppled the world’s top team for the second time in their last three meetings.
Reporting by Padraic Halpin; editing by Tony Lawrence