New Zealand 12
A brace of tries by loose head prop Andrew Porter inspired Ireland to a historic first ever win over the All Blacks on New Zealand soil in the second Test of the three Test Series at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on Saturday morning to ensure the Series goes all the way to next week's decider.
Ireland took only three minutes to score the opening try of the game through a wonderful team score that had the All Blacks chasing Irish shadows.
Tadhg Beirne instigated the move with a great break and after several phases inside New Zealand‘s 22, with the Irish half backs constantly probing, Jonathan Sexton was able to expertly send loose head Andrew Porter through a gap to score under the posts.
Ireland followed this up by stealing a Kiwi lineout and then putting the All Blacks scrum under serious pressure, which laid the foundation for a jackal penalty won by Caelan Doris, which allowed Sexton extend Ireland’s lead from 40m in the 13th minute.
New Zealand winger Leicester Fainga’anuku was then sinbinned in the 17th minute after flying in high and late on Mack Hansen with what could well have been a red card, but the decision went in favour of the hosts.
He was soon joined in the bin by tight head Ofa Tu'ungafasi, who was guilty of an early tackle on Garry Ringrose when Ireland were looking dangerous, and the New Zealand indiscipline kept coming with replacement prop Angus Ta'avao being brandished a straight red card for a sickening head on collision with Ringrose in the 31st minute.
Ireland were almost monopolising possession at this point in the game but they couldn't add to the scoreboard as a lack of patience seemed to scupper their attacking efforts.
The depleted All Blacks finally got their hands on the ball and put pressure on Ireland just before half time, with James Ryan being yellow carded for a cynical infringement, and the hosts capitalised as Beauden Barrett kicked a loose ball forward and dotted down under the posts to leave it 10-7 at half time.
Ireland should really have been more than two scores ahead at that juncture but their numerical advantage put them in a great position to secure their first ever win on New Zealand soil.
They needed to start the second half as they did the first, and they managed this with yet another Porter try from close range in the 48th minute after big carries from Bundee Aki, Peter O’Mahony and Tadhg Beirne in the build up.
Sexton kept the scoreboard moving with another penalty in the 55th minute to stretch Ireland’s lead out to thirteen.
Ireland started to empty to bench from the hour mark onwards in a bid to galvanise their efforts with fresh legs and the move paid immediate dividends when Sexton slotted a 68th minute penalty after the field position had been engineered by a brilliant 50-22 kick by Peter O’Mahony. The lead was now sixteen and New Zealand now needed three scores.
Reserve hooker Samisoni Taukei'aho was held up over the Irish line in the 73rd minute and soon after Tu'ungafasi suffered the same fate, as New Zealand‘s attempt at a desperate comeback was foiled by heroic Irish defending.
The Kiwis did score a late try when Will Jordan easily beat Joey Carbery out wide to score, but it was only a consultation score for the All Blacks, and there will be certainly be a lot of soul searching within their camp this week with the focus certainly being on their discipline issues that gave Ireland the platform for this historic triumph.
Scorers for New Zealand: J Barrett (1 con), B Barrett, Jordan (1 try) Ireland: Sexton (3 pens, 2 cons), Porter (2 tries) New Zealand: J Barrett; Reece, Ioane, Tupaea, Fainga'anuku; B Barrett, Smith; Bower, Taylor, Tu'ungafasi; Retallick, S Barrett; Papalii, Cane (capt), Savea.
Subs: Ta'avao for Papalii (25), Ross for Savea (33), Papalii for Ross (35), Tuipulotu for Retallick (45), Jordan for Fainga’anuku (50), Retallick for Tuipulotu (55), Fakatava for Smith (62), Taukei'aho, Sowakula and Mo'unga for Taylor, Papalii and B Barrett (68), Tuipulotu for Retallick 73) Ireland: Keenan; Hansen, Ringrose, Henshaw, Lowe; Sexton (capt), Gibson-Park; Porter, Sheehan, Furlong; Beirne, Ryan; O'Mahony, van der Flier, Doris.
Subs: Aki for Ringrose (31), Herring and Conan for Sheehan and Doris (63), Healy, Bealham and Murray for Porter, Furlong and Gibson-Park (64), Treadwell for Ryan (71), Carbery for Sexton (74), Doris for O'Mahony (76)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (SARU)