The Irish rugby team had not defeated the New Zealand All Blacks, the perennial and current world champions in 111 years and were not fancied to do so in Chicago on Saturday.

Perhaps it was the magical Cubs hangover or the venue of Soldier’s Field, which was festooned with Irish flags and packed with Irish fans that led to the historic atmosphere.

Whatever it was the score ended up 40-29, a comprehensive victory over the greatest team in rugby some say the most dominant side in any major sport in the world over the decades.

As scrum half Rory Best noted “It was a long time coming.” It certainly marked an historic day for coach Joe Schmidt, himself a New Zealander, who won his most famous victory ever over his own countrymen.

So many times over the years Ireland had flattered only to deceive, especially in 2013 when they just missed in a heartbreaker but this time they really meant it.

The Irish tore into the All Blacks and led by an astonishing 30-8 after 46 minutes thanks to superb efforts and tries by Jordi Murphy, CJ Stander, Conor Murray, Simon Zebo and Robbie Henshaw.

But the world champions would not go lightly and pulled the deficit back to 33 to 29 and it looked like an horrific case of deja vu.

But like the cubbies the Irish were resilient and a final try by Robbie Henshaw settled the famous victory. At the final whistle the team celebrated joyously as they could hardly believe the curse was finally lifted as surely as the one against the Cubs was.

The Irish rugby team defeated the New Zealand All Blacks for the first time in 111 years.YouTube/The Tight Five Rugby Union