Ecstatic Ireland captain Rory Best was ready to savour his side’s historic success over New Zealand after they added to the drought-breaking feelgood factor in Chicago with a 40-29 win at Soldier Field.
Two days after the Chicago Cubs ended their 108-year wait to win baseball’s World Series, the Irish put to rest their own hoodoo as they beat the All Blacks for the first time in 111 years of trying.
What an amazing day for Irish rugby. Beating the All Blacks in Soldier Field in Chicago!! To say I'm proud is an understatement #IREvNZL— Mike Paul (@mikepaul_music) November 5, 2016
I'm exhausted after watching that. What a game. History is made. #IREvNZL— James Mahon (@jamesmahon11) November 5, 2016
— Allen O'Donoghue (@AllenOd101) November 5, 2016
The world champions had been hailed as the greatest rugby side ever before the match, after piecing together a record 18-match winning run, but that was ended when Robbie Henshaw powered over late on for Ireland’s fifth try.
“We just talked about attacking New Zealand,” Best told BT Sport 2.
“We knew they are a great side. You can see how good a side they are and how much it means to our boys to have won that.
“We just had to go out and attack them.
“If you give them ball and stand off them they’re an unbelievably dangerous outfit. I couldn’t be prouder of the work we’ve put in over the last couple of weeks.
“It’s been a long time coming and history (has been) made. We’re absolutely ecstatic.”
I have never wept at a game before. I have often laughed at people who do weep at games...but damn I am weeping now! Incredible! #IREvNZL 💚— Gráinne Perry (@YaYa_Sweets) November 5, 2016
Chicago celebrated the Cubs’ success by dyeing the river that runs through the city blue and, after securing victory in front of a packed stadium predominantly decked out in green, Best declared Ireland would now have to follow suit to mark their own historic win.
“It felt like a home game for us,” he said. “I suppose we’re going to have to dye the river green for this one.”