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Classy Steve Hansen pays tribute to retiring Irish rugby greats Rory Best and Joe Schmidt

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen knew media wanted to dissect his team's convincing 46-14 Rugby World Cup quarter-final win but there was something he wanted to get off his chest.

Like Jamie Joseph did last week to address those affected by Typhoon Hagibis, Hansen asked to speak before the first question at the post-match press conference to highlight two Irishmen -  coach Joe Schmidt and captain Rory Best - who are both retiring now their campaign is over.

"I'd like to take the opportunity on behalf of myself and the All Blacks to congratulate two men in the opposition, Rory Best and Joe Schmidt," Hansen started.

"Both have had magnificent careers in their respective roles for Ireland, they made a difference in their time and it doesn't matter what team you play for - if you can make a difference while you're there, you've done your job.

"Both those guys, I understand, are finishing up and we'd like to acknowledge them publicly on the wonderful job they've done."

Hansen then went on to make a couple of positive comments about All Blacks Kieran Read and his return since a back injury, and assistant coach Ian Foster who had breathed new life into his team's attack.

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The All Blacks' fullback was too much to handle for the Irish in Tokyo. Source: Spark Sport RWC

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The All Blacks' halfback was at his best against Ireland in Tokyo. Source: Spark Sport RWC

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The All Blacks coach said the captain and coach "made a difference in their time" with Ireland. Source: 1 NEWS