LIVE: Ireland v New Zealand

Can Ireland achieve the improbable in Chicago and beat the mighty All Blacks for the first time?

Patrick Madden Sun, Nov 6
LIVE: LIVE: Ireland v New Zealand

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  • Good evening!

    Welcome to our coverage of Ireland against New Zealand, in Chicago.

    Tonight (or this afternoon in the Windy City) Joe Schmidt's men look to achieve the improbable and do what no Irish side has ever done before - beat the mighty All Blacks.

    28 times Ireland have had a crack at the Kiwis and 28 times they've failed to win - a run lasting 111 years.

    And tonight they come up against the back-to-back World Champions who haven't been beaten since August 2015, winning 18 Test matches on the spin.

    The cards are stacked against Ireland. But with Chicago still delirious from the Cubs' first World Series win in 108-years on Wednesday night, who's to say the underdogs won't bring their own drought to an end at Soldier Field.

    We'll be bringing you all the action, so buckle up and get set.

    The best All Blacks side of all time? We'll see.

    Come on!!!

  • TEAMS:

    IRELAND: Rob Kearney, Andrew Trimble, Jared Payne, Robbie Henshaw, Simon Zebo, Johnathan Sexton, Conor Murray, Jack McGrath, Rory Best, Tadhg Furlong, Donnacha Ryan, Devin Toner, CJ Stander, Jordi Murphy, Jamie Heaslip.  Replacements: Sean Cronin, Cian Healy, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, Josh van der Flier, Kieran Marmion, Joey Carbery, Garry Ringrose

    NEW ZEALAND: Ben Smith, Waisake Naholo, George Moala, Ryan Crotty, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith, Joe Moody, Dane Coles, Owen Franks, Patrick Tuipulotu, Jerome Kaino, Liam Squire, Sam Cane, Kieran Read.  REPLACEMENTS: Codie Taylor, Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Charlie Faumuina, Scott Barrett, Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Aaron Cruden, Malakai Fekitoa

  • There's over an hour until kick off in Chicago, so if you aren't battling the queues at the bar here's some pre-match reading to keep you going:

    Gerry Thornley has previewed the battle at Soldier Field HERE.

    And he has written about 'The Professor,' All Blacks coach Wayne Smith HERE.

    And you can read Matt Williams's column on the long-term plan needed to catch New Zealand HERE.

  • It's a belting day in Chicago and it looks perfect for running rugby. Given Ireland are playing the All Blacks I'm not sure whether that's a good thing or a bad thing.

    A full house of 61,500 are expected at Soldier Field, with a 5,000 plus travelling support boosting the Irish Diaspora at the match.

    Where are you watching the game tonight? Get in touch and let us know.

  • In the opening Test of the autumn internationals earlier today Wales were absolutely walloped by Australia, losing 32-8 in Cardiff.

    Watching that match is was noticeable how slick the tourists looked having come off the back of the Rubgy Championship, while the Welsh were horribly disjointed and looked every bit a side who were playing together for the first time since the summer. Hopefully the same won't be true for Ireland tonight.

  • Joe Schmidt has just been interviewed before the match. It would mean an awful lot for him to coach Ireland to their first ever win over the All Blacks - but it would mean that bit more for the players.

    "You can only be first once," he said.

  • It is a testament to the All Blacks they have been able to see the likes of Dan Carter and Richie McCaw retire and yet remain so dominant.

    They are without their three first-choice secondrows tonight, with Jerome Kaino coming in at five, but they remain a fearsome proposition. Behind a powerful eight the silky Beauden Barrett willl pull the strings and feed a backline full of running and guile.

    It says a lot about this side that hooker Dane Cole has the handling and ball playing ability of most backs.  

  • Tonight will be Ireland's first game since the death of Anthony Foley last month.  

    The Irish players will form a figure of eight before kick off in tribute to the great Axel.

  • Here come the teams in Chicago!
  • Before kick off we'll be treated to the Haka.

    Ears open!
    Get ready...! Line up...! Steady...!
    Slap the hands against the thighs!
    Stomp the feet as hard as you can!
    As hard as we can!
    You die! You die!
    We live! We live!
    You die! You die!
    We live! We live!
    Here stands the Hairy Man...
    who can bring back the Sun so it will shine on us again!
    Rise now! Rise now!
    Take the first step!
    Let the sunshine in!

    See, when you translate it into English it isn't that scary at all.

  • There is an applause for Axel, before the anthems get underway.
  • The music for Ireland's call is provided by a violin, which I think is a first.
  • Haka time.
  • Ireland stand in an eight in response to the Haka.

    Come on lads.

  • Johnny has the ball in hand.


  • 1 min: No real contest from Ireland at the first breakdown and Aaron Smith clears to touch on the 10.
  • 2 min: Good, quick ball from the first lineout and Ireland move it at speed. They hit the first breakdown hard and then win a penalty at the next phase. It's a kickable penalty but Sexton goes for the corner.
  • 3 min: Devin Toner wins the lineout and Ireland's maul comes down. It's moved left where Jamie Heaslip takes a big contact and Ireland are awarded another penalty.

    This time, Sexton will go for the posts. It's inside the 22 and to the right. Good kick.



    New Zealand move the ball for the first time and they're over the line. Ben Smith fields a high kick from Conor Murray and the ball squirms out but to a black shirt. They move it right and Waisaka Naholo breaks the line and bursts into the 22. He's tackled by Simon Zebo and offloads to Kieran Read, it hits Read in the face and George Moala picks up and touches down.

    Barrett misses the conversion, but that's ominous.


  • 7 min: Ireland move the ball deep and Trimble makes half a break and offloads well. New Zealand's linespeed is ferocious - they're borderline offside at every play - and Ireland are forced back inside their own 10. Ireland are awarded a penalty after a tip-tackle by Joe Moody on Robbie Henshaw. Moody is sent to the bin!

  • The referee, Mathieu Raynal, is the same one who sent CJ Stander off against the Springboks in the summer.
  • 8 min: Sexton finds a good touch and Ireland set the maul, working their way up to the 22. Eventually they move it, with a penalty coming after the All Blacks drag it down, and the ball goes loose in midfield. Sexton goes for the corner with the penalty!
  • 10 min: Ireland go to Toner and set the maul before grinding their way up towards the line. New Zealand have committed a lot of numbers but Ireland get over! The ref goes to the TMO, this one will take a while to unpick.
  • TRY IRELAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The TMO couldn't see any reason not to award the score. It was Jordi Murphy who came up trumps at the bottom of the pile.

    Sexton converts from the touchline.


  • 12 min: Ireland running from deep and looking to spread it both ways, before Sexton eventually clears. It's a good approach from Ireland - the All Blacks can't hurt you if they don't have the ball.
  • 13 min: New Zealand's first lineout on halfway is messy compared to Ireland's well oiled set pieces thus far - but they scramble on the loose ball. Ireland give away a penalty on the All Blacks 10 and it's kicked to touch on the left.
  • 14 min: New Zealand's second lineout is too long - and this time Stander clears up at the back. Ireland spreading it again and New Zealand tackling ferociously - Zebo getting driven five yards back. But then Liam Squire tackles high and Ireland have a penalty, which Sexton stitches into the corner.
  • TRY IRELAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Not the slickest Irish lineout but they go wide and have a penalty coming. Rob Kearney breaks and is held up inches short. Green shirts hammer the breakdown and Stander picks and burrows his way over the line!

    Sexton misses the conversion.


  • 19 min: Straight from the restart Ireland win a penalty and the ref is having a word with Reid after Naholo clashed with Zebo in the air.  

    New Zealand play the game constantly on the edge of the law - it's good to see them getting pinged for these infringements.

  • 20 min: Murray caught offside and New Zealand have a very kickable penalty.
  • Barrett slots from in front of the posts.


  • 22 min: Great kickchase from Ireland and Kearney wins it on the All Blacks 22. Brilliant take. Ireland move it left and nearly engineer a two on one but Zebo has to come back inside. Infringement from Coles and Ireland have a penalty inside the New Zealand 22 on the left. Johnny will go for the posts.
  • Sexton makes no mistake!!!


  • 24 min: Excellent work from Ireland, a brilliant tackle from Henshaw and Ireland hold New Zealand up and are awarded the first scrum of the match.
  • 26 min: Good Ireland scrum and a slick move to the left but Crotty makes a good read and holds Sexton up. Murray boxkicks and Zebo takes it on the wing but he lands in touch.

    Jordi Murphy is on the deck and looks in a lot of bother.

  • Crotty has limped off, looked like a groin injury.
  • Replays show Murphy went down off the ball as New Zealand tried a quick lineout. Looks like he got his knee caught.
  • First properly audible rendition of the Fields of Athenry rings round Soldier Field. It's hard to hear anything though as the audio coming from the ground is terrible.
  • Murphy is taken a way on a buggy with his knee heavily strapped. Josh van der Flier replaces his Leinster teammate.
  • 27 min: New Zealand work it off the top from the lineout but Ireland are matching their intensity in defence. Moala makes half a break and then pops a basketball pass to Savea on the wing to keep it alive. The All Blacks are up towards the Irish 22.
  • 28 min: First conserted spell of All Blacks pressure and they have the ball centrefield but Aaron Smith decides to kick in behind. Zebo clears up but doesn't make much ground with his clearing kick.
  • 29 min: Brilliant from Jack McGrath in midfield, tackling and forcing the ball to go loose and back into Irish hands. Murray follows up with an excellent clearance to touch.
  • 31 min: Ireland have the second scrum of the match on the All Blacks 10, out on the left.
  • 32 min: Big Irish scrum and it's worked to Payne who comes inside on a thumping crash ball. Sexton sends up a huge hanger and it bounces before falling back into Irish hands. Ireland deep in the All Blacks 22.
  • TRY IRELAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Conor Murray you beauty. Ireland's nine picks and sells Aaron Smith with a dummy before sniping through the gap and scooting over the line. A piece of magic.

    Slight concern as Sexton gets treatment following the score, but he's back on his feet to take the conversion - which he slots.


  • 35 min: Ireland gather the restart and Murray finds halfway with a kick from the base.
  • 36 min: Savea hauled into touch on the far side. Ireland lineout on the 22.
  • 37 min: Stander turns it over and Murray kicks in behind on the right with nobody home. Smith does well to get back and cover and dances out of a couple of tackles before Furlong appears out of nowhere and snaffles him up. Ireland have a lineout on the All Blacks 22.
  • 38 min: Ireland grind their way infield but this time the penalty goes the other way. Barrett hoofs it into touch.
  • 39 min: New Zealand have the ball in hand on the halfway - imperative Ireland see it out until halftime. Tuipulotu takes it into contact and he is held up by Furlong and McGrath - brilliant defensive work. Ireland have a scrum.
  • 40 min: Solid Irish scrum and Sexton boots it into touch.
  • What a half of rugby from Ireland. Breathless and brutal - stirring.  
  • GarrettfrnNY Amazing being here. Make history lads!!
  • TheLad Hope this is the one !
  • After what seemed like a very long half time, we're back underway.

    Come on lads!

  • Frank Hall Fingers crossed.... Come on lads, Guinness is calling!!!
  • 41 min: Ireland lineout on their own 22 and they run a phase before Murray clears from the base.
  • 42 min: Early possession and territory from New Zealand and they nearly engineer an overlap on the left but Dane Coles is the loose man and he's tackled. Big tackle in midfield and the All Blacks spill it forward.
  • 43 min: Danger for Ireland as the ball gets lost in the sun and Aaron Smith pounces on it and darts right with men over. It's worked out to Naholo who cuts back inside into contact. The All Blacks are pressing inside the Irish 22 but there's a loose pass and Ireland seize on it, Sexton wrapping up Ben Smith and winning Ireland a penalty. Sexton finds a good touch.
  • 45 min: The Irish lineout doesn't work for the first time and it's knocked on. Heaslip felt he was impeded. New Zealand work the shortside from the scrum and Stander nearly steals but Naholo manages to feed it back.
  • 46 min: Kearney fields and runs the ball back and is met with a high tackle from Moody. Referee Raynal goes to the TMO to look at it again - remember Moody has already been in the bin once. Gets away with it, just a penalty.
  • 46 min: Sexton pins a brilliant penalty right into the corner.
  • TRY IRELANDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Stander wins the lineout and they set the maul. They work their way up inside the five where it's brought down. Murray gets quick ball and feeds Sexton who flips it to Zebo on the wing who dances over!

    Sexton can't nail a tricky conbersion.


  • 50 min: First real mistake from Sexton, he sends a booming garryowen out on the full. All Blacks lineout inside the Ireland 10.
  • The All Blacks hit back straight away and it's an excellent score. They up the tempo inside the Ireland 22 and Coles makes the break before offloading brilliantly for TJ Perenara who gathers well and crosses. That's Coles the frontrow forward.

    Barrett converts.


  • 53 min: Kearney has been fantastic today and he fields another Barrett kick with aplomb. Ireland move it right and New Zealand, with their tails up after that score, are steaming up quicker than ever.  
  • 55 min: Good play from New Zealand and it's worked out to Savea on the left and it takes a brilliant covering tackle from Trimble to haul him out.

    The All Blacks pinch the lineout and move with devastating effect, the ball slick through the hands to Ben Smith who dives and gets it down, great finish. His foot might have been out but replays are inconcclusive and the score is given.

    Barrett stitches a touchline conversion.


  • 58 min: Ireland's kickchase from the restart is good abd they have a penalty in front of the posts on the 22 after an obstruction.
  • Sexton is down so Murray will take over the kicking duties - and he nails it. That was a big kick.


  • Joey Carbery is on for Sexton.
  • 60 min: Murray boxkicks and Zebo produces one of the best takes you will ever see on the left. Brilliant work. But then after moving it infield Ireland get turned over.
  • 60 min: A breather for Ireland after New Zealand knock on in the middle of the park.  
  • Cian Healy is on for McGrath.
  • 62 min: Solid Irish scrum but the ball goes loose from Carbery's inside ball to Stander. The All Blacks are lethal from turnover ball and they move it wide to Savea who is scragged inside the 22 as he tries to kick inside, where Kearney knocks forward.
  • The All Blacks are probing menacingly inside the Irish 22. Cole recycles from the base to Squire, who pops off a short pass to Scott Barrett who crashes over on an inside line.

    His brother Beauden converts,


  • 65 min: It's his first game for Ireland but Carbery has the confidence of a seasoned outhalf. He stitches a brilliant kick in behind and out for a New Zealand lineout inside the 22.
  • 66 min: The All Blacks look more and more threatening as the game gets stretched. They create a two on one on the left but the pass is behind Savea and he knocks it on.
  • 68 min: Murray clears with a big boxkick and Kearney is there again, this time thumping Ben Smith with a big tackle and forcing the ball loose. Looks for the world a knock on, but it's not given, Instead Kearney is penalised for tackling the man without the ball. Harsh.
  • 70 min: Very nearly an interception for Trimbke on the left and New Zealand knock it forward. Carbery clears and then calls a mark from the return kick.
  • 10 minutes to make history, lads.
  • 70 min: Lineout for New Zealand on halfway and they set the maul, grinding their way up to the Irish 10 and then some more. Perenara tries to dummy and step Murray but gets scragged. New Zealand knock on. Ireland can breathe for now.
  • 72 min: Broken field ball for New Zealand but the Irish defence is up very quickly. The All Blacks in possession and into the Ireland half.
  • 73 min: The All Blacks come left and Trimble absolutely empties Squire as he looks to work the ball to the wing, and his pass goes forward. Scrum Ireland.
  • 74 min: Huge phases from Ireland. Big scrum and they work it left. It's spun out to Zebo who kicks in behind. Naholo covers and gets it back to Savea but green shirts descend upon him and tackle him ingoal. Ireland five metre scrum, that was a huge play.

    ROBBIE HENSHAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Big Irish scrum. Heaslip picks form the base and finds Henshaw on a monstrous inside line and he barrells his way over the line.

    Carbery converts. Ireland are on the brink.


  • 77 min: New Zealand have the ball - but they're inside their 22 and it's sloppy. The ball goes loose and New Zealand are pingerd for holding on. Ireland penalty.
  • New Zealand-born Carbery hooks his kick.


  • 79 min: Nearly an interception from Henshaw but the ball goes forward. Seconds away.
  • HISTORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Proud ex-Pat What a historic and brilliant win for Ireland - this will now forever be remembered!
  • What a match, what a performance. Ireland went toe-to-toe with the All Blacks and didn't give them a yard.
  • Rory Best is interviewed on the pitch: "We just knew we had to go out and attack them. If you stand off them and give them ball they are a dangerous outfit...

    "It's been a long time and it's history made, we're absolutely ecstatic."


  • Peggy in Kildare Tears of JOY.......BRILLIANT LADS.......well done.
  • Lee O'Gorman Incredible, fantastic result, well played. Bursting with pride
  • Pat Cork Followed it on live blog. Fantastic boys. So, so proud of you all. Enjoy the win
  • Anne Marie in NZ So proud of the boys in green - big smiles here amongst a sea of mournful faces!!
  • Sean Robbins Well done Ireland, I knew you could do it!
  • Dave M Gang of Irish lads have to go to Chicago to find fame and ever it was, You beauties.
  • Two weeks, eh? Bring it on.
  • Rob Kearney: "It's an awesome day for the Irish. Not just for this team but for the 28 teams who've gone before us."
  • Gerry Thornley's match report from Soldier Field is now live, you can read that HERE.
  • Right then, thanks for joining tonight.

    Keep en eye out on the sports section of the Irish Times website for all of the reaction from Chicago on a famous night. A famous night indeed.