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Dublin: 5 °C Monday 20 May, 2019
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Trimble on beating All Blacks: 'If it is possible to do it once, it is possible to do it again'

The Ulster star is optimistic about Ireland’s chances of securing back-to-back wins over New Zealand.

Ireland's Andrew Trimble during the press conference at Carton House Hotel
Ireland's Andrew Trimble during the press conference at Carton House Hotel

AFTER ACHIEVING THE improbable by defeating the ‘invincible’ All Blacks in Chicago, Ireland now face what many will consider the impossible task of claiming back-to-back wins over New Zealand when Steve Hansen’s side visit Dublin.

Winger Andrew Trimble does not necessarily agree with such an assessment, but the 32-year-old Ulster man recognises that Ireland will not be fancied to repeat their success in downing world rugby’s greatest force when the sides meet on Saturday week — and he anticipates a backlash at Aviva Stadium in the rematch.

“If you had asked us this time last week is it possible to beat the All Blacks, a lot of people would have said no. We proved that it is possible,” said Trimble. “If it is possible to do it once, it is possible to do it again.

“At the minute, we’ve got to look at Canada and we’ve got to get out on the pitch this week and just make sure that, regardless of who we’re playing against, we’re approaching that game with the same mindset.

It is a massive, massive challenge to get our heads around that where we have to get to for that. But, it is possible.

“They’re going to come with a massive backlash. We have to meet than and go beyond that and have that positive mindset.”

While Trimble was keen to state that Ireland focus is now on this weekend’s Canadian opposition, Joe Schmidt appears likely to field a much-changed XV following on from last week’s exhausting effort in Chicago.

And, as expected, New Zealand continued to be the main topic of conversation when Trimble faced the Irish media on Monday afternoon.

The challenge is, a lot of sides can produce a big one-off performance,” said the Belfast native. “But if we are going to challenge ourselves to be competing with these southern hemisphere teams, England, Wales and we want to be one of the best teams around then we have to back it up.

“That’s a big, big challenge. All your energy just goes into one massive, big effort and you just fall flat on the floor exhausted knowing that you have achieved something special.

“To get up and go at it again, out in the same amount of homework and train as hard and know the game plan inside out like we did is a challenge.

“Realistically, as well, to go beyond that level because they will perform better than we did on Saturday because they will be hurting. They are a very proud group of rugby players and they will be devastated.

“They will come with a massive backlash and we will have to meet that and go beyond that.”

The 32-year-old was questioned about the role of defence coach Andy Farrell — a man that appears to have something of an Indian sign on the All Blacks.

The Wigan man helped to mastermind England’s 2012 victory over New Zealand before overseeing Ireland’s impressive defensive performance last weekend in what was a well-structured display despite the leaking of four tries.

The defensive system is unbelievably straight-forward. It is very simple and I think that’s the beauty of it,” explained Trimble. “If you watched the game at the weekend, it wouldn’t take long to see exactly what we do in certain situations.

“Knowing that and being able to deal with that are totally different things. It is just the simplicity of knowing what we’re doing, everyone buying into it — the calls and the systems.

“There is ‘repping’ it in training as well. He has created a culture where our back three get together, where nines and tens get together, centres.

Everyone knows everyone else’s role, knows the system inside-out. We have taken ownership of it,” added Trimble, who revealed that the Ireland squad had got caught up in Chicago’s World Series hysteria prior to their own historic win.

“Just being in Chicago, just the buzz of the run-up into match day with the Cubs winning the World Series, we were all massive Cubs fans by the end of the week,” smiled Trimble.

“Anyone who knows rugby, if I told you what we had done at the weekend you’d think we were joking.

“It’s just amazing to be part of that and to be part of the history that comes with that. Everyone to a man is just very proud of our contribution and being a part of Irish rugby history.”

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Ciarán Gallagher

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