Ardie Savea 'knackered' after hard-fought battle with Irish loose forwards for ball control

It may not have looked like it based on the scoreboard, but loose forward Ardie Savea said the All Blacks quarter-final with Ireland was a physical contest.

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Savea said the breakdown was a key area of the quarter-final which meant there was plenty of work to do. Source: 1 NEWS

The All Blacks booked a spot in the Rugby World Cup semi-finals after a convincing 46-14 win over Ireland last night - a Test Savea described as nothing short of a "battle".

"It was a tough one out there even though the scoreboard showed something different," Savea told 1 NEWS.

"I'm knackered actually."

Savea, along with fellow loose forwards Sam Cane and Kieran Read, were constantly in a battle at the breakdown throughout the match which had been highlighted as a key area for the contest.

"We knew how Ireland can attack that ball," Savea said.

"We just had to focus on ourselves and our ball carry and making sure we supplied [Aaron Smith] with quick ball - that was our focus of the week."

Once again, Savea interchanged between positions throughout the game, playing at No.8 when the All Blacks had an attacking scrum and bringing his openside skills to the game from the blindside position.

But Savea said the changes don't phase him.

"You just go with it and ride the wave," he said.

"It doesn't affect me."