New Zealand 22-32 Ireland: Andy Farrell believes win in NZ is a one-off, Johnny Sexton wants more
Ireland beat the All Blacks 32-22 in the third Test to clinch a series victory in New Zealand for the first time in their history on Saturday; Andy Farrell hails achievement as a success that will not be repeated; Johnny Sexton insists next year's World Cup is where Ireland must kick on
Last Updated: 17/07/22 8:18pm
Euphoric coach Andy Farrell believes Ireland's series win in New Zealand will not be repeated again, while captain Johnny Sexton called for further improvement after their historic success on Saturday.
Ireland beat the All Blacks 32-22 in the third Test to clinch a 2-1 series success in New Zealand for the first time in their history.
Farrell's side led 22-3 at half-time after first-half tries from Josh van der Flier, Hugo Keenan and Robbie Henshaw. Jordie Barrett kicked New Zealand's only points.
The All Blacks dominated the start of the second half, including a sin-bin period for Andrew Porter, to bring it back to 25-22 with a quarter to play, but Rob Herring's close-range try and Sexton's conversion helped see the tourists home.
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"This is a special group," Farrell told Sky Sports. "To come over here and achieve what they've achieved. It won't be done again, knowing what we know is going to happen in the next few years anyway.
"This is probably the toughest thing to do in world rugby. We went for it, straight from the start, which is great as a group of 40 players and a lot of staff as well.
"We said it was going to be the start of our World Cup year. I think it is probably a little bit bigger than that. They keep turning up and surprising me. The bunch are just tight.
"These guys have won a lot of stuff and broke some records. This one will top it I would have thought. We've talked about us not getting carried away with ourselves and I didn't think we got carried away with ourselves when things were going well for us as well. We knew they were going come back but we dusted ourselves down and the composure of the boys was incredible. They deserve everything they get."
Sexton was more grounded with his praise for Ireland's efforts, highlighting that previous disappointing performances in World Cups are on their minds ahead of next year's showpiece in France.
"We want to do our fans proud and we certainly did that," Sexton said. "The effort was incredible and it's a very special day because we're playing against the best in the world.
"He (Farrell) has come in here, he's changed things, he was brave at the start, he's stuck with some older lads. He got criticised, brought in some younger lads, and he's just done an amazing job. I mean, it's all credit to him.
"It means a lot now. I know in a year's time when the World Cup starts, it won't mean anything as we've learned before. We will certainly enjoy tonight, and maybe a couple more days and then we have got to keep improving. That's what we got to learn from previous years. But this group of boys, the management, is very special and I'm so proud to be part of it