All Blacks prove too hot to handle

l Ireland’s hopes of reaching the Rugby World Cup semi-finals were cruelly dashed yesterday, as an excellent New Zealand team ruthlessly exposed the Irish team’s weakneses, beating them 46-14

Ireland captain Rory Best (right) reacts as he retires after the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup quarter-final match between New Zealand and Ireland

On a depressing evening of mediocrity, painful reality came crowding in as Ireland’s flawed and frantic World Cup crusade came to a humiliating end. Tears were shed as the lap of honour turned into a funereal walk, farewells said to Joe Schmidt, Rory Best and this hopeless dream that Japan 2019 would go down in history as Irish rugby’s Italia 90 moment.

How shall we remember it then? Will it be for the ...