A convincing win over the Italians was nothing short of what was expected from the All Blacks last weekend, and if anything they’ll be disappointed that they took the majority of the first half to find the breakthrough there.
Ian Foster will know his side will have to be more ruthless in Dublin on Saturday, as the Irish are going to try and make this game as difficult as possible.
The Shamrocks looked ominous in their 60-5 dismantling of Japan last weekend, especially considering when they last faced the Cherry Blossoms in July they were run close in a 39-31 victory.
That’s now six successive wins for Andy Farrell’s men, and although the most recent three have been expected against Japan (twice) and USA, wins over England and Scotland prior to that show just how dangerous this side can be.
Having not won any of the first 28 meetings with the All Blacks, with their best result coming as a draw back in 1973, the Irish have now won two of the last four and will take great confidence from that.
Ireland +11 Handicap
The handicap line sits around the 11 point mark, with the All Blacks obvious favourites for this one. The hosts haven’t lost by more than that margin in any of their last 14 matches going back to defeat at Twickenham in the 2020 Six Nations.
Ian Foster’s New Zealand side have won 13 of their last 14 matches since a shock defeat to Argentina nearly a year ago to the day, with their only loss in that run coming narrowly to World Champions South Africa, so we can’t see Ireland coming up trumps against what remains the best side in world rugby.
With the confidence Ireland are playing with at the moment and the fact that New Zealand looked a bit lost for ideas in the early stages against Italy before running riot, we can get behind the hosts on the handicap.
Despite the last meeting ending in a thumping victory for the All Blacks at the World Cup, two of the last three head-to-heads here in Dublin have seen Ireland cover that 11 point handicap, with the exception coming in a 12 point victory for the All Blacks.
While a few names were rested for the Italy game, this is a more recognisable Kiwi side with Sevu Reece the only man retained in the starting line-up, and that should certainly see them over the line for this one, but the roaring Dublin crowd will certainly play their part.
IRELAND +11 HANDICAP