IT Sunday: Irish rugby soars to new heights with historic win over All Blacks

IT Sunday: Irish rugby soars to new heights with historic win over All Blacks

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A ruthless All Blacks side dismantled Ireland in their first test earlier this month as part of the Irish tour of New Zealand, securing a comprehensive 42-19 win that led to much doom and gloom about the prospects of Andy Farrell’s men in the rest of the series. Everything changed during the second test on Saturday however, when the Irish side turned the tide on the All Blacks in Dunedin and secured a historic first win on New Zealand soil in the process.

Writing about Ireland’s 23-12 victory over New Zealand, Gerry Thornley notes that while “the postscript may focus on the red card, and two yellow cards, which the All Blacks incurred inside a wild and wacky first half-hour … by any yardstick, this Irish victory was totally deserved”. He adds that “Ireland had more possession and more penetration, dominating large tracts of the game from the off” and “in many respects, played better when the sides had the same number of players than when they had a one- or two-man advantage”.

He plodded along for months in the face of a gathering storm of controversies but in the end, just weeks after seemingly being buoyed by a confidence vote, British PM Boris Johnson resigned after dozens of his ministers and Tory MPs quit their roles.

In looking at Johnson’s rise and dramatic fall, Fintan O’Toole observes that it was Brexit which “took him to an astonishing place, one where, in any sane world, he did not belong. His great strength, indeed, was his uncanny ability to embody an entire, and epic, political project . . . The old Eurosceptic cranks wrote a script – Johnson performed it. Without his brilliant ability to enact Brexit as a persona, it would simply not have happened.”

In his World View column, Ruadhán Mac Cormaic notes that just as former US president Donald Trump did with the Republican Party, Johnson has unleashed demons that will haunt the Conservatives – and Britain – for

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