A Curse Broken: How Ireland Shape Up Against New Zealand

Galway Daily sport

Ireland’s performance at Rugby World Cups has been plagued by a series of unfortunate events, earning them the reputation as one of the great “curses” of our time. This streak of misfortune dates all the way back to the first tournament in 1987. 

The long history of disappointment should motivate Ireland as they embark on their tenth attempt to reach the elusive semi-finals. If they fail once again, it will mark 40 years of unfulfilled aspirations by the time they compete in the 2027 tournament in Australia.

Facing New Zealand: The rivalry continues 

The rivalry between Ireland and New Zealand in rugby has been highly significant in recent years, with eight matches between them since 2016 and consistently captivating contests. 

In anticipation of their upcoming World Cup quarter-final clash on Saturday, we have examined the key aspects that have influenced the rivalry over the past seven years.

Chicago 2016: Ireland recorded a historic first-ever win over the All Blacks, defeating the Kiwis 40-29 in Chicago as a part of the rugby tour of the USA. 

World Cup 2019: Ireland had won 5 of their last 8 meetings with NZ between 2016 and 2019, but it ended at the 2019 World Cup, as the low point of Schmidt’s career arrived at the worst time. 

Series win in 2022: Defeating the All Blacks on home soil is no easy feat, but this didn’t matter to Ireland, who dominated in a 42-10 test win at Eden Park.  

Rough play: There’s no specific date for this one, but this rivalry becomes evident when you evaluate the rough tackles which regularly occur when these sides clash. Yellow or red cards with intent are almost a guarantee. 

Heated exchange:You’re a shit Richie McCaw” is just an example of the choice words these opposing teams don’t mind expressing toward one another; the dislike is clear. 

Ireland World Cup Rugby: Breaking the curse 

Ireland has reached the quarter-final stage of the World Cup for the fourth consecutive time and the eighth time in their history. However, they have never advanced to the last four. To achieve a breakthrough, Ireland must secure another impressive victory versus an impressive past WC record held by their opponents.

The All Blacks are determined to avoid only their second failure to reach the semi-finals. New Zealand was defeated in their first match against France, but they have since responded convincingly. They have achieved significant victories against Namibia, Italy, and Uruguay. However, their upcoming match against the top-ranked team in the world represents a considerable challenge.

The betting odds

Ireland to win [4/6] 

New Zealand to win [13/10] 

Draw [18/1] 

We’re seeing most of the top-rated bookmakers for Irish punters and bookies worldwide place Ireland as a significant betting favourite, with an average price of 4/6. Considering the most recent results between these sides, it’s difficult to oppose this stance, but Ireland’s World Cup curse will continue to linger in bettors’ minds.  

Ireland vs. New Zealand (h2h) 

Ireland, who previously lost in all of the initial 28 games against the opposite nation, emerged victorious in five out of the most recent eight meetings. This impressive record involves their notable triumph over the All Blacks in Wellington last year, securing a series win and instilling a great deal of confidence in Andy Farrell’s team.

Team  Wins  Draws 
Ireland  5 1
New Zealand 30 


Ireland vs. New Zealand Analysis  

The All Blacks can deliver an impressive performance and defeat Ireland. It is unwise to underestimate them, although it seems unlikely unless there are penalties that hinder the Irish. 

Ireland holds the top spot in world rugby rankings for a good reason. They have won 17 consecutive matches leading up to this quarter-final, yet there will be significant anxiety. 

However, it is worth noting that Ireland has never advanced past the quarter-final stage in any of the previous ten editions of the tournament. Although Ireland is the favourite to progress this time, the All Blacks remain a formidable team despite not being as dominant as they have been in the past.

Ireland emerged as the winners of Pool B, triumphing in all four matches. They started with convincing victories against Romania and Tonga, then narrowly defeated South Africa 13-8 in what is arguably the standout game of the World Cup. In their most recent match, Ireland convincingly beat Scotland 36-12 with an exceptional performance in the first half. 

Ireland possesses a 16th player, courtesy of the passionate fans at Stade de France. They emerged victorious against South Africa and Scotland in recent matches and are set to face New Zealand there this weekend. Paris has become a second home, buzzing with thousands of supporters in the stadium and streets. The team draws energy from the fans, while the fans reciprocate that energy, resulting in a deeply personal connection between the two. 

Ireland has consistently demonstrated their superiority for an extended period, leading to a formidable momentum that surpasses that of the All Blacks.

IRE vs. NZ Score Prediction: Ireland 23 – New Zealand 10