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Rugby Live

IT Fri, Jun 8

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  • 08:18
    Welcome to the coverage of New Zealand v Ireland from Eden Park. John O'Sullivan here and I'm going to take you through the next couple of hours as Ireland chase a first ever victory over the All Blacks: 24 matches between the countries and Ireland have yet to win. Their best result is a 10-10 draw.
  • 08:20
    Ireland coach Declan Kidney is typically understated in his pre-match comments. New Zealand coach Steve Hansen is trying to be polite about Ireland's chances. It's the New Zealander's first game as head coach since taking over from Graham Henry.
  • 08:23
    Conditions are good in Auckland. Kidney's selection has dominated the pre-match chat on Sky Sports. The pundits aren't sure about how the Irish midfield will line-up. We won't have long to wait.
  • 08:26
    Ireland came agonisingly close to producing a second upset at the Under 20 World Junior Championship in South Africa yesterday evening. They led 15-3 against the Six Nations champions England before going down 20-15. They're still in with a shout of making the semi-finals - the three pool winners and the best second placed team from the three pools make the elite four - going into their final game against Italy.
  • 08:27
    Ireland are leaving the dressing room led by Brian O'Driscoll.
  • 08:28
    Cian Healy's sporting a pretty savage haircut. Jonathan Sexton doing a fair bit of talking in the huddle.
  • 08:29
    The All Blacks are next and they're looking relaxed.
  • 08:31
    Sean Kelly is singing Ireland's Call. That's not the cyclist or the former GAA President. Not sure he knows the words and my goodness he's way out of tune. Hopefully that's not an omen for the Irish performance. That was truly a shocking rendition.
  • 08:32
    Will Martin's offering a more tuneful God Defend New Zealand
  • 08:33
    It's Haka time
  • 08:33
    Piri Weepu is leading it.
  • 08:35
    O'Driscoll stoic with the slight hint of a smile as he faces the Haka for the 10th time in a green jersey.
  • 08:36
    Dan Carter gets us under way.
  • 08:37
    Ireland secure possession, go wide twice spanning the full width of the pitch and eventually Sexton dinks one into touch.
  • 08:38
    Declan Fitzpatrick's first touch is to try and flick tyhe ball on in the pass but it goes to ground. Referee Nigel Owens calls play back for an earlier knock on. First scrum of the match.
  • 08:40
    Conor Murray penalised for delaying the feed. Silly. Two rucks later and Ireland penalised for not releasing in the tackle. Carter will have a relatively straight forward chance to give the All Blacks the lead.
  • 08:43
    The New Zealand outhalf makes no mistake. Ireland though have a chance to equalise. Great work by Murray in the tackle. New Zealand penalised for going off their feet. Sexton from 35 metres and he's equally accurate.
  • 08:44
    5 mins: The sides are level with a penalty apiece.
  • 08:47
    Second scrum of the match and Ireland get the shove on. Great work by the pack. Ireland are moving the ball wide at every opportunity and offloading in the tackle. Rob Kearney has just shrugged off Sonny Bill Williams and dumped him on the ground. Seriously.
  • 08:48
    Great half break by O'Driscoll and offload to Earls. Kearney's pass to debutant Simon Zebo is of the hospital variety.
  • 08:49
    New Zealand have taken two quick lineouts in succession. The match is being played at a tremendous pace.
  • 08:51
    The All Blacks have taken play to the halfway line with a penalty. Harsh call by Owens to penalise Sean O'Brien at a ruck. Terrible decision judging by the replay. Carter has a chance from two metres inside the Irish half to give the home side the lead.
  • 08:52
    Carter lands the penalty with plenty to spare. O'Brien was on his feet at that ruck and entitled to play the ball. Owens got that one wrong.
  • 08:54
    18 mins: Savea huge hit on Kearney. Ireland penalised for going off their feet at the ruck. The Irish fullback made it a little easy for the All Black debutant but it was still a thumping tackle. Carter posts the penalty from the halfway line and close to the touchline. Great kick.
  • 08:58
    Ireland's discipline or lack of it in the eyes of referee Nigel Owens is seeing them slip out of this game. Great choke tackle by Rory Best and Jamie Heaslip on Sonny Bill Williams. Murray penalised again for not putting the ball in quickly enough at the scrum. Harsh but Murray must react. That's twice now for the same offence
  • 08:59
    Ireland six metres from their own line
  • 09:00
    Brilliant defence from Ireland forces a turnover penalty when New Zealand penalised for hanging onto the ball in the tackle.
  • 09:01
    O'Brien the catalyst for that penalty. Great strength over the ball.
  • 09:03
    25 mins: New Zealand try. New cap Savea. The home side counter-attack and Earls and Fergus McFadden are drawn to the same defender. That's pretty soft. Carter adds the conversion.
  • 09:05
    Ireland's promising start has evaporated. It looks ominous now. Timely turnover from Peter O'Mahony. The visitors are really struggling with the All Blacks high tempo.
  • 09:06
    Healy forces the home side to concede a penalty with his work at the breakdown but Ireland are looking ragged in defence. It's all a little bit too easy for the All Blacks.
  • 09:09
    Good sustained pressure from Ireland in the New Zealand 22. Good angle from Simon Zebo to break the line but some questionable option taking almost costs visitors. Ireland are awarded a penalty but elect to kick to corner. Gamble.
  • 09:09
    They win the lineout.
  • 09:11
    Shocking pass from O'Driscoll to Sexton. All Blacks turn over ball and counter-attack and Zebo has to run ball into touch five metres from his own line. Communication breakdown for Ireland now they'll do well not to concede again.
  • 09:13
    Good defence by Murray, Rory Best and Healy saves try on the blindside forcing Sam Whitelock into touch at the corner flag. Irish lineout, five metres out.
  • 09:15
    Four minutes until half-time and Ireland will do well to hold-out without a further concession. Yep. Looks like a second try for Savea. It's gone to the television match official. It's a try.
  • 09:16
    38 mins: Pace and precision are central components of New Zealand's performance. They're so clinical when they get the opportunity. Carter lands conversion from the touchline.
  • 09:21
    Another unforced Irish error. New Zealand back in the Irish 22. Anyone who suggested the All Blacks might be rusty is now wishing they hadn't ventured that opinion. New Zealand just butchered a two-on-one run-in for another try. Ireland escape but it's all relative. This is a hiding and there's more to come unless the visitors improve massively.

    It's half-tiime: New Zealand 23 Ireland 3
  • 09:23
    tom oleary irl 3 nz 23 is this going to turn into a cricket score for NZ
  • 09:27
    To say it's not looking good from an Irish perspective is an understatement. Ireland have got to stop the All Blacks' offloading game or else there are more tries in the offing. They've also got to hang onto the ball, be more aggressive in the tackle, be quicker off the line in defence and try and build phases in possession. It's all a little bit predictable from Ireland in possession. The wrap-around is telegraphed. The visitors need to punch it up on the fringes and take a leaf out of their host's playbook by offloading in the tackle.
  • 09:29
    Right. Time for the second half.
  • 09:30
    Richie McCaw fumbles at a ruck. Ireland have a scrum in the New Zealand 22.
  • 09:31
    It's 20 metres out right in front of the posts. Great position.
  • 09:32
    Ireland go through six phases after which they end up further away from the New Zealand line and then O'Brien loses the ball in contact.
  • 09:33
    The lack of understanding and the basic errors are denying Ireland continuity.
  • 09:36
    44 mins: Savea's in for his hat-trick. Poor Irish defence again. Passive and a touch of the rabbit in headlights. It's all a little bit too easy. Carter kicks the conversion to make it six from six with the placed ball. Touchline effort again. 

    New Zealand 30 Ireland 3
  • 09:37
    New Zealand are running it from everywhere. They know the game's over as a contest and they're now treating it like a training session.
  • 09:41
    Another Irish handling error. There's a lack of understanding in terms of the Irish unit skills and it's undermining everything they visitors are trying to do. Dan Tuohy knock-on. New Zealand win a penalty in the Irish 22 and they're not bothered by the posts, electing to tap it and go. Ireland force turnover penalty but Kearney's kicked it away aimlessly.
  • 09:43
    50 mins: McFadden try. Great blockdown by Rory Best, regathers and from Murray's chip McFadden outpaces McCaw over 50 metres to win the race for the ball and touch down for a try. Sexton addes the conversion.

    New Zealand 30 Ireland 10
  • 09:46
    New Zealand are ringing the changes, introducing almost half of their bench. Ireland's defence marked absent from the kick-off. Earls and O'Driscoll foil Kieran Read on the Irish line after the Kiwi caught Carter's kick-off and took off for the Irish line. Zebo penalised for pulling back earlier in the play. New Zealand opt for scrum.
  • 09:47
    Another New Zealand scrum. Ireland survive but it's yet another scrum five to the home side.
  • 09:51
    55 mins: Ronan Loughney come son to make his debut for another new cap Declan Fitzpatrick. The latter did well in the tight.

    Try time again for New Zealand. Replacement flanker Adam Thomson. Orthodox backrow move from a scrum five. Carter misses conversion to prove he's human.
     New Zealand 35 Ireland 10
  • 09:51
    Ronan O'Gara is on for Ireland.
  • 09:54
    Ireland butcher a try scoring chance. Another mistake. It's a lack of accuracy in terms of execution. New Zealand scrum and they clear the ball. Lineout for Ireland about 35 metres from the All Blacks' line.
  • 09:57
    The visitors lose a scrum against the head after bringing on three replacements. Eoin Reddan, Donncha O'Callaghan and can't quite see who's the third yet.
  • 09:58
    Ireland concede another penalty. All Blacks kick to the corner.
  • 09:59
    Kevin McLaughlin is on.
  • 09:59
    Hat-trick hero for New Zealand, Savea is given a rest.
  • 10:01
    Fergus McFadden intercepts in his own 22 and races the length of the field. Unfortunately the Irish backs were offside. Penalty to New Zealand and they have elected for a scrum five metres from the Irish posts.
  • 10:03
    Ireland survive; with 14 minutes to go a little intensity has gone from the New Zealand performance. At least for now.
  • 10:04
    Ireland scrum. Ireland penalised. The Irish scrum has been nowhere near as solid since Fitzpatrick's departure.
  • 10:09
    New Zealand opt for a scrum. Ireland have possession but their attacking patterns behind the scrum are pedestrian and easy to read. Healy, who's had a very good game has gone off, injured.
  • 10:10
    That pretty much sums it up. Ireland elect to box kick 30 metres from the New Zealand line.
  • 10:10
    Darren Cave is on to win his third cap, replacing Keith Earls.
  • 10:11
    Sky Sports co-commentator Alan Quinlan says "you can't be too critical of Ireland's performance......" You can. It hasn't been good enough on any level.
  • 10:13
    Crooked throw at an Irish lineout.
  • 10:15
    Darren Cave gets penalised for a pull-back on Conrad Smith. It's a penalty but could and should have been a yellow card too. O'Driscoll missed Cruden for the Kiwi's slashing break.
  • 10:18
    78 mins: Try for Smith. New Zealand's fifth of the night. Great break from Dagg, initially, a couple of rucks and then Cruden times his pass beautifully as Smith cuts a sharp angle.
  • 10:18
    New Zealand 42 Ireland 10
  • 10:21
    It's over. Carter almost gets an injury time try in the corner.

    Full-time: New Zealand 42 Ireland 10
  • 10:24
    Alan Quinlan (Sky Sports): "Ireland played with heart and passion. They just need to cut down on the mistakes for the next game." Couldn't agree with the first statement at all. Ireland, apart from the opening 10 minutes didn't play with the requisite intensity. Their communication, organisation, attacking patterns, defensive line speed and in the second half, scrum, were well off test match quality.
  • 10:25
    Mervyn Horgan After such a long season was is really neccesary to put the team under more pressure,can positives be obtained from the NZ tour ?
  • 10:25
    Joseph How long do we have left before we get a decent coach?
  • 10:27
    Man of the units within the team just didn't function well enough when stress tested in such a competitive environment. New Zealand were flattered somewhat by the half-time score but they cut the Irish to shreds and but for two or three botched opportunities could easily have run up a half century of points. They will get better. The challenge for Ireland is to do the same.
  • 10:30
    The gamble in terms of selection didn't work because the team dynamics weren't good enough. New Zealand offloaded at will, played the game at a high tempo and were largely ruthless in taking their chances. Ireland's communication and co-ordination in defence wasn't good.

  • 10:32
    The positives for Ireland.

    Fitzpatrick did well at scrum time.

    Healy had a fine game as did the front row, O'Brien, Ryan and Heaslip.

    Ireland's work at the breakdown.

  • 10:38
    The challenge for Ireland will get appreciably tougher next week. New Zealand will improve on their performance and that's very worring for the visitors. It'll be a measure of the character within the Irish squad to see how they react. It's likely to be a positive one but what that constitutes in terms of the scoreboard won't close the gap sufficiently.


  • 10:39
    Ireland now head for Christchurch where they will be measured and weighed again by the All Blacks next Saturday morning. Thanks for your company and comments.