Best calls on Ireland to peak again

Date published: November 18 2016

Ireland captain Rory Best wants to see his side produced one of their strongest performances once again this weekend against the All Blacks.

Best knows that Ireland will need to play at their peak in order to topple the world champions for the second time in three weeks, following their first win over New Zealand in 111 years.

“This week we’ll need a performance that’s up there with the best we’ve ever produced in an Ireland shirt,” said Best.

“It’s about us being consistent with our performance levels, that’s the most important element. Big one-off performances and then a drop-off isn’t acceptable any more with this group of players.”

Both Ireland and New Zealand this week have deflected the question of which side are favourites heading into Saturday’s match at the Aviva Stadium and Best was no different, saying that the tag is irrelevant.

“That tag is something for the media, for press conferences,” Best added.

“They are the number one team in the world for a reason. There won’t be any talk about favourites or underdogs in the changing room before the game. It’s about knowing we will really have to perform in order to beat a very, very good All Blacks team.

“We’ve put the pressure on our group of players through the coaches to make sure that the preparation we did two weeks ago won’t be enough.

“It’s got to be more, so we put that pressure on ourselves internally and we’ve made sure that everything we covered two weeks ago, we’ve covered that and more. That’s how we deal with it.

“Like I said, that tag of favourites and underdogs doesn’t really mean a whole lot to us, because we’re all about preparing us for this weekend, getting ready mentally for what will be an unbelievably tough challenge.”