All Black legend was speaking at Heineken & Newstalk Off The Ball event in Dublin’s RDS last night
Legendary All Blacks No.8 Zinzan Brooke last night backed New Zealand to overcome their shock defeat in Chicago two weeks ago by winning at Aviva Stadium this Saturday. Brooke, who won 58 caps through a 10 year international career, claimed,
“I don't care (how much we win by), I just want them to win by one point. I've been there a couple of times when we've been beaten; when an All Black side is beaten, it hurts. I know how they'll be feeling now, they'll want to slip in here and do the business. But the Irish won't make it easy. Joe Schmidt will make sure of that.”
“But I think the All Blacks will win by a seven point margin.”
One of the greatest No.8s of all time, Brooke was appearing at the RDS as part of the Heineken Newstalk Off The Ball Roadshow, alongside former Ireland stars Brian O'Driscoll, Keith Wood and Stephen Ferris, as well as Leinster captain Isa Nacewa and Connacht Head Coach Pat Lam.
Ex-Ulster back row Ferris, however, disagreed with Brooke’s prediction for the big Aviva clash, instead predicting a second win for Joe Schmidt’s team;
“It's an unbelievable New Zealand outfit but at the same time, myself and everyone else wrote Ireland off a few weeks ago, and we got that monkey off our back (by winning) so we can go out and attack them. Why can't we go and do it again?”
Ferris also pointed to the return of Sean O’Brien as a key factor that could swing the game in Ireland’s favour.
“It's great to see Seanie back in the side. He’s an absolute beast of a man on the pitch, and hopefully the Tullow Tank will be in flying form on Saturday. Seanie is a big game player, and you need big game players in matches like this. I'm going with Ireland (to win) this week.”
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