TOKYO – New Zealand have lost twice to Ireland in their last three meetings but All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says all form goes out the window ahead of Saturday's Rugby World Cup quarter-final in Tokyo.
Ireland have fashioned an impressive record under New Zealander Joe Schmidt in the last six years, with the side claiming their first ever win against the All Blacks on Nov. 5 2016 in Chicago, a victory that ended a 111-year wait.
While New Zealand got a measure of revenge two weeks later, beating the Irish 21-9 on home soil, Schmidt's side scored another win over the world champions last year in Dublin.
The All Blacks' recent record against the Irish would have been even worse had they not pulled off 'The Great Escape' in 2013 when Ryan Crotty's try and Aaron Cruden's conversion salvaged a 24-22 win deep in injury time.
Hansen, who was noticeably less relaxed than he had been during the pool phase in Japan, was putting little stock in recent results having any influence on Saturday's game, however.