Internationals

Fitzpatrick: All Blacks would never be complacent

Sean Fitzpatrick said there is no chance New Zealand were guilty of complacency when they were beaten by Ireland and expects the All Blacks to have learned their lessons as they target revenge in Dublin on Saturday.

The world champions' record run of 18 consecutive Test victories came to an end when Ireland claimed a stunning 40-29 triumph in Chicago this month.

New Zealand had never lost to Ireland in 111 years, but Joe Schmidt's men ran in five tries to make history and consign the All Blacks to a first loss since August 2015.

Former Ireland wing Luke Fitzgerald accused the best side in the world of arrogance and lacking of respect when they finally came unstuck Stateside, but Schmidt said that was not the case.

Fitzpatrick rubbished suggestions that New Zealand may have taken Ireland lightly and the legendary former All Blacks captain said they will have gone through the setback at Soldier Field meticulously to ensure there is no repeat this weekend.

He told Omnisport: "They were definitely not complacent. What New Zealand does very well is they learn very quickly.

"Mistakes would have been identified, they would have worked on those and made sure they have the right people on the field.

"The All Blacks are the most professional team in the world, they don't get caught out like that [by being complacent]. Let's give credit to the Irish."

He added: "I think the Irish played very well. But I think they have learnt from their mistakes and I'm sure they will be very much up for the game. I expect them to play well, I didn't really see that result in Chicago coming, that's for sure.

"Joe Schmidt has done a very good job and I'm sure he's been working on a plan to shut the All Blacks down, but I imagine the All Blacks coaches have been doing exactly the same to make sure they don't have the same problems they had in Chicago.

"Definitely the credit should go to Ireland in terms of what they did defensively, the pressure they put on at lineout time, the All Blacks lineout had been operating at 100 per cent almost, but they missed two in the first half."

Fitzpatrick also believes Ireland's victory in the United States will be good for the game.

"I think it's been good for everyone; it's been good for New Zealand rugby, it's been good for world rugby." said the former hooker.

"It's great for the Lions next year that we've now got 23 Irishmen that have beaten the All Blacks and know what that feels like, so they can go into games with a degree of confidence."