Published: Wed, November 14, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Joe Schmidt's All Blacks agony

Joe Schmidt's All Blacks agony

Meanwhile, New Zealand has called up Ngani Laumape to replace injured Sonny Bill Williams for the Dublin Test, Hansen confirmed on Monday morning (AEDT).

Ireland finally registered their first-ever win over New Zealand with the stunning 40-29 victory in Chicago in 2016, but Schmidt admitted that has still not eased the pain of that Dublin defeat some five years back.

Henshaw was withdrawn minutes from kick-off before Ireland struggled past Argentina 28-17 on Saturday after his hamstring tightened in the warm-up.

"But our scrum was really strong and on the back of that we did get a bit of access into the game".

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt believes the next two matches against the Pumas and New Zealand will see how far along the preparations are for the Rugby World Cup next year.

Ireland beat the All Blacks for the first time two years ago and have only lost four of their 24 tests since, on their way to a Six Nations grand slam and a record 10 successive home wins.

He was among the players released to their provinces as coach Joe Schmidt took a smaller group to Chicago for their opening autumn global against Italy.

"I think it demonstrates that we need to get the vehicle tuned", Schmidt said.

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"They are the number two side in the world and you don't get to play one and two that often when they are in two separate hemispheres, so when they do come about, they become pretty big games".

"I would be delighted if we are as competitive as we were the last three times".

"It's not the injury, it's really just how ready Conor is and how fully fit he is", Schmidt continued. "I step back on a Thursday and from then it's really player-driven".

"They're the type of games you want to play so I've no doubt it's going to be a similar intensity".

The 33-year-old Williams lasted just 30 minutes of the All Blacks' 16-15 victory over England at Twickenham before he left the field and Hansen said the Auckland centre would not be back for next week's clash with Ireland in Dublin.

He also played just six games for the Blues and was under scrutiny for underperforming when he did take to the field, although Hansen added that he was the type of player whose form improves with matches.

"Maybe it's the expectation we have of ourselves or that you guys have of us now that we come out and hit the ground running every time", said Schmidt.

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