Steve Hansen congratulated Joe Schmidt and Rory Best for their achievements in the international game after New Zealand put an end to Ireland’s Rugby World Cup hopes on Saturday.
The All Blacks ran in seven tries in a 46-14 triumph as they cruised through to a semi-final meeting with England, keeping alive their bid to lift the trophy for a third successive tournament.
Defeat for Ireland not only ends their campaign in Japan but also head coach Schmidt’s six-year reign, as well as the playing career of captain Best.
New Zealand boss Hansen praised his opposite number’s achievements during his time in charge of Ireland; Schmidt won the Six Nations three times, including a Grand Slam campaign in 2018.
Thank You @RoryBest2
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) October 19, 2019
Before fielding a question in his post-match news conference, Hansen spoke glowingly about his compatriot, and hooker Best, who announced in April he would be retiring after the World Cup.
“Firstly, before we talk too much about the game, I’d really like to take the opportunity on behalf of myself and the All Blacks to congratulate two men on the opposition – Rory Best and Joe Schmidt,” Hansen said.
“Both had magnificent careers in their respective roles for Ireland.
“They’ve made a difference in their time and, it doesn’t matter what team you play for, if you can make a difference while you’re there then you’ve done your job.
“So both of those guys, I understand, are finishing up and we’d like to acknowledge them publicly, what a wonderful job they’ve done.”
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