19 Nov 2016

Another historic performance needed to beat the All Blacks

11:02 am on 19 November 2016

Irish skipper Rory Best says his side will have to produce one of the finest performances in team's history to go back-to-back against the All Blacks in Dublin.

The Ireland captain Rory Best and his children.

The Ireland captain Rory Best and his children. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The 34-year-old helped mastermind a history-busting win over the All Blacks in Chicago two weeks ago with an exceptional display in the lineout and scrum.

But the Ulster rake told reporters after today's captains' run his side would need to play even better in Dublin on Sunday morning (NZ time) to defeat the All Blacks again.

The return of locking duo Sam Whitelock and Brodie Retallick would fortify the All Blacks' set-piece game, while the world champions were unlikely to have another off day.

"We know it's going to take a performance better than we delivered in Chicago and up there with some of the best performances we've ever delivered in an Irish shirt," Best said.

"That's the reality of playing the best team in the world."

Head coaches Steve Hansen and Joe Schmidt sparred earlier in the week over which side could claim the tag of underdog at the Aviva Stadium, with the bookies favouring New Zealand to win.

But Best said the label was no more than media chatter, and the furthest thing from his troops' minds as the rematch approached.

"There will not be any talk in the changing room before we go out there about who the favourite and underdog is, it'll be about knowing we have to perform," Best said.

Despite the surprise victory two weeks ago, Ireland were highly critical of their defensive effort on US soil, conceding four tries and almost falling victim to an All Blacks comeback.

Best said there were plenty of instances in Chicago in which his side erred from their defensive system, and would need to rectify that this time around.

Both sides head into the match on the back of large wins over Canada and Italy respectively.

"If a team does unbelievably well and pulls a rabbit out of the hat and scores a try but our system is good, (coaches are) reasonably happy," Best said.

"But for us, when we look back at some of those scores and some of the breaks we let New Zealand get away with, there are a lot of improvements we can make."