Ireland v New Zealand: All Blacks stunned at the Aviva

Andy Farrell's side were fully deserved victors in what was only their third win against New Zealand
Ireland v New Zealand: All Blacks stunned at the Aviva

Joy for Ireland after beating New Zealand in the Aviva. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane

Ireland 29 New Zealand 20 

IRELAND recorded their third ever win over the All Blacks, when they came from behind with a truly magnificent second-half display, to secure an Autumn International victory at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday evening.

Ireland showed clear intent from the get-go, moving the ball through the hands, while holding their own in the collisions, with Garry Ringrose, Caelan Doris and Andrew Conway combining to make good ground down the right, only for New Zealand to turn Ireland over on the deck in front of their own posts in the 2nd minute.

The All Blacks thought they were about to score in the 10th minute, only for full-back Jordie Barrett to be denied by a bone shuddering tackle by Ringrose two metres from his own line, which left the Leinster centre momentarily seeing stars.

All Black hooker Codie Taylor was sin-binned for a high no-arms tackle on Jonathan Sexton in the 13th minute and Ireland capitalised on their numerical advantage just a minute later, when James Lowe brilliantly scored against the nation of his birth with an acrobatic dive in the left corner, from a superb delayed pass by Hugo Keenan, after the pack had sucked in the Kiwi defence off of an attacking maul.

Down a man, New Zealand responded in typical fashion, not only eating up the sin-bin time but adding a 19th-minute penalty from full-back Jordie Barrett.

Ireland were playing all the rugby at this juncture with Lowe and Doris particularly prominent in some scintillating attacking play, and while the All Blacks defence initially held firm, they eventually cracked with the powerful Irish front row of Ronan Kelleher, Andrew Porter and Tadhg Furlong doing the damage, only for Furlong’s try to be chalked off due to a double movement by Kelleher in the build-up.

And a minute later, in typical All Black fashion in the 32nd minute, they scored the softest of tries when openside Dalton Papalii went through a huge hole in the Irish defence at the back of a lineout and had the simple task of putting Taylor away to score.

The New Zealand line was living a charmed life, with Ireland seemingly camped within a few yards of it for the remainder of the half, but in typical Kiwi fashion, they held out to lead 5-10 at the break.

Andy Farrell’s side would have been disappointed to be behind at the break, but they began the second half with renewed confidence, and Ireland’s impressive hooker Kelleher burrowed over from close range in the 43rd minute after big carries from the likes of Josh van der Flier, Andrew Conway, Ringrose, Lowe and, on a couple of occasions, Doris.

Ireland were back on top by the 50th minute when the brilliant Doris took a simple pop pass from Jamison Gibson-Park and crashed straight through the attempted tackle of Taylor to race home from 25m, for one of the great Irish back row tries.

Ireland's James Lowe celebrates at the final whistle with Hugo Keenan. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane
Ireland's James Lowe celebrates at the final whistle with Hugo Keenan. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane

Sexton notched his first penalty of the day to give Ireland a deserved 10-point cushion in the 56th minute, but five minutes later that lead was back down to three when Will Jordan walked in a try after his own chip over the top was gathered by centre Rieko Ioane, who fed the winger on his inside to score under the posts.

Munster’s Joey Carbery, on as a replacement for his captain, slotted a 65th-minute penalty to give Ireland a 23-17 advantage, and Ireland got a huge slice of luck in the 69th minute when Akira Ioane’s try was disallowed thanks to a marginally forward pass, although New Zealand did walk away with three points, as an advantage was being played.

Carbery then slotted a superb 74th-minute penalty from the halfway line to restore Ireland’s six-point lead, and made sure with another from just 25m in the 80th, to send the crowd into raptures.

Ireland's Peter O'Mahony comes down from the air with Rob Herring and Caelan Doris. Picture:  INPHO/Dan Sheridan
Ireland's Peter O'Mahony comes down from the air with Rob Herring and Caelan Doris. Picture:  INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Scorers for Ireland: Sexton (1 pen, 1 con), Carbery (3 pens), Lowe, Kelleher, Doris (1 try each).

New Zealand: J. Barrett (2 pens, 2 cons), Taylor, Jordan (1 try each).

IRELAND: Keenan; Conway, Ringrose, Aki, Lowe; Sexton (c), Gibson-Park; Porter, Kelleher, Furlong; Henderson, Ryan; Doris, van der Flier, Conan.

Subs: Beirne for Henderson (48), Herring and O’Mahony for Kelleher and Van der Flier (59), Bealham and Carbery for Furlong and Sexton (65), Earls and Murray for Aki and Gibson-Park (71), Healy for Porter (76).

NEW ZEALAND: J. Barrett; Jordan, R. Ioane, Lienert-Brown, Reece; B. Barrett, Perenara; Moody, Taylor, Laulala; Retallick, Whitelock (c); Blackadder, Papalii, Savea.

Subs: Coles for Blackadder (20), Mo’unga for B Barrett (22), Blackadder for Coles (23), Havili for Lienert-Brown (38), Coles, Tu'inukuafe and Lomax for Taylor, Moody and Laulala (52), A. Ioane for Blackadder (61).

Referee: Luke Pearce (RFU)

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