Ireland’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final hoodoo

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In-form Ireland face three-time champions New Zealand seeking to improve their wretched quarter-final record at the Rugby World Cup.

The Irish are through to the last eight of the competition for the eighth time but have never progressed beyond it.

Here, the PA news agency looks back on Ireland’s last five quarter-final matches.

France 36 Ireland 12 (Durban, 1995)

Following successive last-eight exits to Australia in the first two editions of the tournament, Ireland suffered a similar fate at the hands of France.

Twenty-six points from the boot of Thierry Lacroix, plus tries from Philippe Saint-Andre and Emile Ntamack, did the damage.

Eric Elwood’s four penalties were insufficient for Gerry Murphy’s men.

France 43 Ireland 21 (Melbourne, 2003)

Ireland lost a quarter-final play-off to Argentina in 1999 before suffering more last-eight frustration against France four years later.

Les Bleus initially claimed four unanswered tries before Kevin Maggs’ score and two from Brian O’Driscoll salvaged some pride.

Frederic Michalak also kicked 23 points for the dominant French, who were beaten by eventual champions England in the semi-finals.

Ireland 10 Wales 22 (Wellington, 2011)

Ireland, who suffered pool-stage elimination in 2007, topped Pool C ahead of Australia before crashing out to their Six Nations rivals.

Declan Kidney’s side were level at 10-10 early in the second period after Keith Earls’ try and five points from Ronan O’Gara wiped out Wales’ lead.

But the Irish were second best and had no answer to decisive scores from Mike Phillips and Jonathan Davies.

Ireland 20 Argentina 43 (Cardiff, 2015)

Injury-ravaged Ireland were savaged by the Pumas.

Without influential performers Paul O’Connell, Johnny Sexton, Peter O’Mahony, Sean O’Brien and Jared Payne, the stunned Irish trailed 17-0 inside 13 minutes.

Tries from Luke Fitzgerald and Jordi Murphy cut the deficit to just three points but four-try Argentina emphatically prevented a fight back to claim a famous win.

New Zealand 46 Ireland 14 (Tokyo, 2019)

Optimism was high ahead of Ireland’s trip to Japan four years ago. Yet head coach Joe Schmidt endured a torrid farewell as his side were ripped apart by the reigning champions.

The merciless All Blacks ran in seven tries on a punishing evening for their error-strewn opponents.

Robbie Henshaw’s score and a penalty try were scant consolation as Ireland suffered their heaviest World Cup loss.

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