Brilliant All Blacks defence, holding out a 37-phase Ireland surge in the last minutes, carried them to a 28-24 victory and a semifinal game with Argentina.

It was tough on an Ireland side that threw everything at the All Blacks, with the benefit of some marginal line calls, two yellow cards and a penalty try. Still, in the end, the New Zealand pack was dominant throughout and provided the foundation.

Captain Sam Cane led the side with one of his finest games as the leader, making 21 crucial tackles out of 230 by the All Blacks compared t 159 by Ireland. He worked in tandem with the player of the game No8 Ardie Savea in securing some critical breakdown penalties.

Replacement lock Sam Whitelock produced the final turnover in the fourth minute of injury time. At the same time, second five-eighths, Jordie Barrett had an outstanding game with the ball in hand and landed two long-range penalties that kept the scoreboard pressure on throughout.

Ireland never had the lead, and when key moments arrived, the All Blacks won them. Outstanding plays were involved in their tries, but none was better than what proved the vital score in the 52nd minute.

It came after halfback Aaron Smith returned from the sin-bin. The All Blacks put their sequences together in attack while producing quality defence. Cane and Savea combined to quell an Irish attack with a turnover. The All Blacks cleared the ball to halfway, where their 52nd-minute lineout produced a stunning try.

Mo'unga held the ball to run into a gap between hooker Dan Sheehan and flanker Josh van der Flier, sprinted into open space and then passed to wing Will Jordan, who outsped the defence to score.

Ireland got within a point after a 63rd-minute penalty try, conceded from a line-call infringement at a breakdown against replacement lock Sam Whitelock. They launched a lineout drive, and hooker Codie Taylor was sin-binned. It had the potential to be decisive.

But Barrett landed another penalty goal, and then the All Blacks went into retention mode, driving at the Ireland defence.

However, Ireland made the most of a Smith box kick to claim the ball and work their way downfield. Phase after phase followed, and as the time clock moved deep into the red, the relief was provided by the side's most experienced player in Whitelock with a play at the breakdown that matched his lineout steal against the Springboks in the World Cup semifinal in 2015.

The All Blacks produced an impressive first quarter, gaining control at the breakdown and forcing Ireland to contain a 30-phase sequence, which ended with New Zealand winning a penalty.

Mo'unga landed it, and then at another penalty, on halfway, it was second five-eighths Jordie Barrett who blasted it over to lead 6-0.

In the 17th minute, Mo'unga was back covering a long kick from left-wing James Lowe from a mark. He fired a long pass to fullback Beauden Barrett. He ran and chipped ahead to race through and claim the ball, and a strong tackle from Lowe.

However, the support was at hand, and the ball was moved left, where Jordie Barrett drew his man and passed to wing Leicester Fainga'anuku. He passed out to centre Rieko Ioane, who immediately returned it to Fainga'anuku and scored.

Ireland returned to their usual style in the second quarter and started running the ball around, working through their second-wave approach, which bore reward.

Ireland scored their first try in the 26th minute when getting into the 22m area and moving the ball through eight phases before it found second five-eighths Bundee Aki, who stepped around Ioane and beat flanker Shannon Frizell in cover defence to score.

New Zealand responded when Ireland botched a lineout when the ball went long and was captured by the All Blacks. They gained a 50-22 kick into the Irish 22m area, and from the lineout, they worked the ball to the goalmouth, then moved the ball through the line with Ioane finding Savea on the sideline, where he dived over for the try.

A fingertip ruling of a deliberate knockdown against All Blacks halfback Aaron Smith resulted in him being sin-binned four minutes before the break. Ireland took advantage by kicking to the corner. They won a penalty at the first lineout, then tried another, this time having halfback Jamison Gibson-Park break around the ruck to score.

Jordie Barrett got under the ball in another vital moment to deny Ireland a ball from a lineout drive. Then, No8 Caelen Doris knocked on the goalline drop-out, and the All Blacks were able to spend invaluable moments in Ireland's half as the clock wound down.

It was a game befitting its status, with Ireland performing as the No1 side in the world should, but calling on legacy, the All Blacks performed as the best sides have done through their history.

Ireland 24
[Tries: Aki, Gibson-Park, Penalty try; Cons: Sexon 2, Penalty try; Pen: Sexton] New Zealand 28 [Tries: Fainga’anuku, Savea, Jordan; Cons: Mo’unga, J Barrett; Pens: Mo’unga, J Barrett 2]

Yellow cards: Aaron Smith (New Zealand, 36 – deliberately knock on), Codie Taylor (New Zealand, 63 – collapsing the maul)

Ireland: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Mack Hansen, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 James Lowe, 10 Johnny Sexton (captain), 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Caelan Doris, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Peter O’Mahony, 5 Iain Henderson, 4 Tadhg Beirne, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Dan Sheehan, 1 Andrew Porter.
Replacements: 16 Ronan Kelleher, 17 David Kilcoyne, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Joe McCarthy, 20 Jack Conan, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Jack Crowley, 23 Jimmy O’Brien.

New Zealand: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Jordie Barrett, 11 Leicester Fainga’anuku, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Ethan de Groot.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Tamaiti Williams, 18 Fletcher Newell, 19 Samuel Whitelock, 20 Dalton Papali’i, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Damian McKenzie, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Matthew Carley (England), and Christophe Ridley (England)
TMO: Tom Foley (England)`