Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll admitted that it would need New Zealand to have an off day for his side to record a first-ever win against the All Blacks.
O’Driscoll said he was being practical in suggesting that it was not just about Ireland playing well, but New Zealand having a mare on the day Ireland did play well.
He qualified his statement even further by adding it was possible for the two to happen on Saturday, especially given the squad rotation of the All Blacks.
There was no such rotation from the Irish coach Eddie O’Sullivan, who picked his strongest line-up to play the All Blacks in Hamilton.
IRELAND: 15 Geordan Murphy, 14 Shane Horgan, 13 Brian O’Driscoll (c), 12 Gordon D’Arcy, 11 Andrew Trimble, 10 Ronan O’Gara, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Denis Leamy, 7 David Wallace, 6 Neil Best, 5 Paul O’Connell, 4 Donncha O’Callaghan, 3 John Hayes, 2 Jerry Flannery, 1 Marcus Horan. Subs: 16 Rory Best, 17 Bryan Young, 18 Mick O’Driscoll, 19 Keith Gleeson, 20 Isaac Boss, 21 Denis Hickie, 22 Girvan Dempsey.