New Zealand coach Steve Hansen offered no excuses for his side’s 40-29 loss to Ireland on Saturday, a defeat that ended their record 18-match winning streak, and said the “right team” had won the Test at Chicago’s Soldier Field.
Ireland’s win over the All Blacks was their first in 29 meetings, a run stretching back 111 years.
The All Blacks had become the first top-tier nation to win 18 consecutive Tests when they beat Australia last month and were targeting the overall record held by Cyprus, who racked up 24 straight wins by beating the likes of Austria and Luxembourg.
Hansen said giving away penalties had put his side on the back foot on Saturday.
He says: “In the first half they had all the momentum and we talked before the game about not giving away avoidable penalties but because of the pressure we did and they built momentum and we were chasing them.
“The Irish played very well and congratulations to them. The right side won. We’re not going to make any excuses about not having the right people.”
New Zealand gave away seven penalties to only three by a disciplined Irish side, who scored two tries during the 10 minutes prop Joe Moody spent in the sin bin in the first half.
Ireland boss Joe Schmidt adds: “They are usually incredibly efficient and very parsimonious when it comes to allowing you to get some territory or some points.”
Ireland had to withstand a ferocious fight back in the second half when New Zealand reduced the deficit from 25-8 at halftime to 33-29.