All Blacks rated 'god-like' as New Zealand celebrates

New Zealand are seeking their third straight World Cup title

The All Blacks were hailed as playing rugby the way "the gods want" as New Zealand celebrated an overwhelming seven-try victory against Ireland in the World Cup quarter-finals.

New Zealand media raised doubts that England will be able to stem the black tide when they meet next weekend in the semi-finals, and suggested the Irish defence must have been organised over pints of beer.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, in her message of congratulations, also referenced the impact of centre Jack Goodhue's much-maligned mullet haircut, which has been a frequent sideline topic throughout their World Cup campaign.

"And that's a brilliant win... for the All Blacks and mullets everywhere," she wrote on Instagram with a photo of Goodhue after the All Blacks' 46-14 thrashing -- which extended Ireland's miserable record of never reaching the semi-finals.

Writing for the New Zealand Herald, Gregor Paul said there was nothing quite like the All Blacks when they "find their sweet spot and mix beauty and brawn in a heady concoction that probably gets somewhere close to being how the gods want the game to be played.

"New Zealand in the right mood as they so obviously were against Ireland can only be stopped by the miraculously brave and the fabulously inventive."

Paul said some may be keen now to stamp them as champions-elect as the All Blacks, in search of an unprecedented third consecutive World crown "are going to be phenomenally hard to beat because they are playing beyond the imagination of most defence coaches.

"It was at times almost bordering on perfect rugby the marriage of speed, skill, physicality and imagination was intoxicating. A rugby drug if ever there was one."

- 'Monstered by New Zealand's pack' -

The website published a photo highlighting the All Blacks' guard of honour for retiring Ireland legend Rory Best while rugby correspondent Richard Knowler said the win was "superb".

"They made Ireland's defensive line, which is organised by Andy Farrell, look like it had been organised over a few pints and a game of darts," Knowler said.

"Cross-kicks, pop passes in the tackle, transfers quickly off the grass and runners tearing in on angles. It was designed to get in behind the rush defence, to put Ireland into the outhouse.

"It will also have England coach Eddie Jones demanding his analysts issue footage on every try and line break ahead of the semi-final. Here's the tip: those guys are in a for a big shift because the All Blacks gave them plenty to get their teeth into."

Herald correspondent Liam Napier said the All Blacks at their peak possessed better and faster basic skills than any other side and "their catch, pass, cleanout, ball protection, carry, tackle tonight were all supreme".

Patrick Mckendry, in the Herald, described the All Blacks victory as "a remarkable performance" and added that England coach Jones "is likely to have been as impressed as everyone else".

On Radio New Zealand, Matt Chatterton rated the All Blacks "fast, offloads, excellent under the high ball, ruthless" while Ireland were "kicking off the mark, always on the back foot, monstered by NZ's forward pack".