Ireland stun All Blacks in Dublin thriller
MATCH REPORT: Ireland beat New Zealand for the third time in the past five years in a stunning 29-20 victory at Lansdowne Road on Saturday.
A gripping Test saw the Irish run in tries from New Zealand-born wing James Lowe, Ronan Kelleher and Caelan Doris.
*To recap all the drama CLICK HERE!!!
Andy Farrell’s side go into the final November Test with Argentina on a run of seven successive victories.
Their previous wins against the All Blacks came in 2016 and 2018 although the New Zealanders hammered them in their last meeting in the 2019 World Cup quarter-final.
Irish captain Johnny Sexton rose to his feet to applaud as his replacement Joey Carbery landed a penalty in the final minute.
“We dominated large parts of the first half and we were clinical,” said Sexton.
“It is a special day and these are special players.
“It’s starting to click but we have to keep our feet on the ground.”
Lowe was almost moved to tears – several of the All Blacks team are direct contemporaries of his.
“It’s amazing. Never in a million years did I think this day would come. I dreamt of being an All Black as a kid,” he told Channel Four.
“I gave up that dream as I wasn’t good enough and to come over here, to hear my native country anthem and stand in front of the haka, it’s a childhood dream.”
Sexton is a marked man whenever he takes to the pitch but referee Luke Pearce had seen enough after New Zealand hooker Codie Taylor hit the Irish playmaker late on two occasions and sent him to the sin bin.
Sexton put the resulting penalty into the corner for a line-out instead of going for goal.
It paid off as the Irish scored a try as Hugo Keenan found Lowe, who did well to touch down in the corner.
Sexton failed to convert to leave the hosts 5-0 up but with the crowd fired up.
The All Blacks got on the board shortly afterwards as Jordi Barrett landed a penalty.
The visitors were taking a few hard hits of their own and Beauden Barrett had to go off for a head injury assessment after he tackled Andrew Conway. Richie Mo’unga came on.
The crowd were off their feet when Tadhg Furlong went over but Kelleher was deemed to have made a double movement in the move and the relieved visitors were awarded a penalty.
They made full use of their let-off striking back as Ethan Blackadder ran through a wide open Irish defence and passed to Taylor who touched down and Jordie Barrett converted to give Ireland 10-5 half-time lead.
The hosts came out in buoyant spirit in the second half and Kelleher, aided by Iain Henderson giving him a helpful push, went over to tie the scores but Sexton’s conversion came back off the post.
Ireland kept up the pressure, Doris nimbly side-stepping Taylor outside the 22 and then running it in to be mobbed by his teammates. This time Sexton converted to make it 17-10.
The All Blacks were visibly rattled, exemplified by David Havili deliberately knocking on Jamison Gibson Park’s pass and Sexton slotted over the penalty to put Ireland 20-10 ahead.
However, Will Jordan settled them a bit as he combined superbly with Rieko Ioane to touch down under the posts and Jordie Barrett converted to bring the All Blacks with three points.
Sexton departed shortly afterwards and the first thing his replacement, New Zealand-born Carbery, had to do was successfully convert a penalty, making the score 23-17 with 15 minutes remaining.
The Irish got off the hook after Akira Ioane went over due to a forward pass but Barrett knocked over a penalty to leave the visitors three points adrift.
Lowe has been praised for improving his defence and he showed it when he stopped an All Black attack and the Irish got a penalty out of it.
Carbery kicked over from 50 metres out, and ran back clapping with joy at the decisive advantage as the crowd roared.
Man of the match: Scumhalf Jamison Gibson Park put in an amazing shift. Johnny Sexton dictated proceedings incredibly well. The back row was Jack Conan, Josh van der Flier and Caelan Doris also deserve a mention, especially Doris who was absolutely relentless at the breakdown. However, our nod goes to Ireland wing James Lowe, who was absolutely lethal outwide. He scored Ireland’s first try and was a constant menace on attack while on defence he made crucial tackles.
Tries: Lowe, Kelleher, Doris
Pens: Sexton, Carberry 3
For New Zealand:
Tries: Taylor, Jordan
Cons: J Barrett 2
Pens: J Barret 2
Yellow card: Codie Taylor (New Zealand, 12 – dangerous, high tackle)
Ireland: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 James Lowe, 10 Johnny Sexton (captain), 9 Jamison Gibson Park, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Caelan Doris, 5 James Ryan, 4 Iain Henderson, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Ronan Kelleher, 1 Andrew Porter
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Tadhg Beirne, 20 Peter O’Mahony, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Joey Carbery, 23 Keith Earls
New Zealand: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Sevu Reece, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Ethan Blackadder, 5 Samuel Whitelock (captain), 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Tupou Vaa’i, 20 Akira Ioane, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Richie Mo’unga, 23 David Havili
Referee: Luke Pearce (RFU)
Assistant Referees: Matthew Carley (RFU) & Christophe Ridley (RFU)
TMO: Tom Foley (RFU)