All Blacks v Ireland first test - live updates

Blow by blow live first test coverage

Last updated 21:21 09/06/2012
Richie McCaw
Richie McCaw
Brian O'Driscoll
Brian O'Driscoll

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FULLTIME: NZ 42 Ireland 10

A night that will be remembered for three tries on debut for the blockbusting Savea and also a continuation of the All Blacks' home dominance, spanning back to the World Cup.

No hiccups for new head coach Hansen but clearly standards are high as McCaw describes the performance as "OK", some of the early breakdown was sloppy, he says, although the set piece work and continuity was impressive, he adds.

O'Driscoll admits the hosts played with a tempo his team couldn't slow, conceding they were "chasing shadows" at times. He thinks too much Irish possession was kicked away and reckons his team should show more patience with ball in hand in the two remaining tests at Christchurch and Hamilton.

It's hard to imagine the Irish challenging at either of those fixtures unless there is a serious sea change. The speed of thought of those wearing black was a class above a game but outmatched Ireland.

The quality of the AB newcomers and the strength coming off Hansen's bench suggests there are few chinks to expose. It will take a team with more firepower than the Irish to do so.


80: McCaw claims the kickoff - he's been typically industrious tonight - as the All Blacks launch one last assault. Carter's famous fend comes out and he's through. Ireland scramble and the hooter's gone but rather than kick for touch, the All Blacks opt to keep attacking. Carter makes another break! But he can't link up and that's that.

78: CONVERSION Carter. NZ 42 Ireland 10.

78: TRY Conrad Smith. NZ 40 Ireland 10.

A piece of Cruden brilliance unlocks the gritty Irish defence, drawing two defenders and sending Smith over for his team's fifth try.

77: The All Blacks swing the ball to both sides of the park but it's turned over. Ireland kick aimlessly and NZ attack down a short blind. Suddenly Dagg's in space and he bursts to 10m out, linking with Read. The All Blacks would love to add to the 35-10 scoreline which hasn't budged for the last 20 minutes...

76: Cruden picks up a low Weepu pass superbly and slices through. He tries to link with Conrad Smith but the centre has been held back by Irish reserve back Darren Cave, who's lucky to stay on the park. NZ penalty and they kick an attacking throw, 20m out.

75: Not straight from Irish hooker Best. One of the first blunders from either team at lineout time tonight.

74: Cruden clears from the lineout and it's an Irish attacking throw from 40m out.

74: Healy's departure has resulted in non-contested scrums - a good result for Ireland - as they launch another attack but it ends disappointingly as O'Gara grubbers into touch.

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73: Ireland are struggling for attacking answers. They try a bomb, which SBW can't quite control. It's an Irish scrum from 30m out. This test has become stop start over the last 10-15min.

71: Heaslip wins another lineout but there's no gaps in the black line as Ireland hammer away in the middle of the park. Honest endeavour isn't getting a lot of progress for Ireland but they win a penalty and swing deep onto attack.

Prop Cian Healy is down again holding his shoulder. This time common sense prevails and he's helped off. That's a big loss if the big No 1 is ruled out of the next two tests. Ireland's scrum has found life tough enough as it is.

70: Into the final 10min and it's still 35-10 to the All Blacks. Fatigue is starting to affect the play of both times so don't expect a landslide of points to finish this one.

69: This scrum goes down and Owen decides it's the All Blacks' fault. Ireland tap and go from deep. Another penalty against NZ, this time it's an Ali Williams illegality, and Ireland will throw in on halftime.

67: Ireland's scrum is really under the cosh now. They're getting twisted and buckled on the loosehead side and concede a penalty. It's no surprise when McCaw calls for an attacking AB scrum.

66: Elliot spills it to end a likely AB attack. Ireland have a defensive scrum 10m out. The ball's getting a touch slippery due to some light rain.

65: Cruden's first act is to throw an intercept pass! Kearney looks set to streak 90m to score but he's called back for being offside, much to his dismay.

65: The last of the NZ reserves comes on. It's Aaron Cruden, and he's replacing Savea! Disappointing the star of the test can't see it out but he's given a rousing ovations.

Cruden goes to first five and everyone shuffles out, including SBW onto the wing, where he appeared at times during the World Cup.

64: The All Blacks drive. It's broken up and Ireland knock on. AB 5m scrum.

63: Huge All Blacks scrum - the changes have worked! - and it's a tighthead. O'Callaghan penalised and the All Blacks will throw to an attack 5m lineout.

63: Two changes to the NZ front row. Hore and Owen Franks make way for Elliot and Ben Franks.

62: The ball is moved quickly to the All Blacks' right after Carter rips the ball off Heaslip. Dagg scythes through but loses the pill when attempting an offload. Irish defensive scrum, 20m out.

61: Carter clears to touch, 30m out from his team's tryline.

60: Slightly stilted Ireland attack and they spill it. McCaw pounces but his team have won a scrum put in. They're looking the fresher of the two outfits heading into the final quarter.

59: Thomson penalised from the kickoff for not rolling away. Ireland kick to within 5m of the NZ line.

58: Weepu on for Smith, who made a sharp, relatively error-free debut at halfback. Veteran O'Gara on for Sexton at first five for Ireland.

57: Conversion missed by Carter. What the hey?

56: TRY Thomson. NZ 35 Ireland 10.

Read's having an exceptional night and he sets up this Thomson try, bursting down the blind and popping it up to Thommo, who only has to flop over before doing that hand wavey thing in front of his face to celebrate the first non-Savea All Blacks try for the night.

55: Another decent All Blacks scrum and they hammer away with a series of rucks. SBW puts a grubber through and the Irish carry it back for another 5m scrum.

55: Introduced pair Ben Smith and Ali Williams get involved as they surge to the line. Williams is held up over the line. Another NZ scrum.

54: Genius from Read, who plucks a short Carter kickoff and surges 35m to the tryline. He's lowered just short by the pursuing Earls. O'Driscoll prevents Read from grounding the ball in what would have been a brilliant try. Penalty to the All Blacks and they opt for a 5m scrum on the far right touchline.

53: All Blacks changes. Ali Williams for Brodie Retallick - solid debut at lock - and Ben Smith for Zac Guildford on the right wing.

52: CONVERSION Sexton. NZ 30 Ireland 10.

51: TRY McFadden. NZ 30 Ireland 8

A Carter grubber is charged down by Best, who pounces on it. A clever box kick from Sexton at the base of the ruck and no ones at home! Suddenly it's a foot race between winger McFadden and McCaw over 60m in pursuit of the ball. There was only going to be one winner there...

49: Free kick against Smith for not putting the ball in straight. Ireland tap but lose it and the All Blacks counter, swinging it to who else but Savea. They surge into the Irish 22. Ireland penalised for offside and Smith taps quickly. Penalty against Owen Franks at a ruck just 2m out. Relief for Ireland but they fail to find touch...

48: O'Brien knocks on in a rare mistake and the All Blacks have a scrum just inside their half.

47: Vito's gone to the blood bin after taking a head knock. Thomson comes on.

46: Savea muffs the kickoff but it's not a knock on and Carter kicks deep. Kearney returns with a well-placed bomb which bounces off his head and over the All Blacks tryline! Vito dots down and it's a 22m drop out.

45: CONVERSION Carter. NZ 30 Ireland 3.

44: TRY Savea. NZ 28 Ireland 3.

A record-shattering night for the winger, who becomes the first All Black to score three tries in a test against Ireland.

Set up by some nice draw and pass by Carter off a lineout, with Read overlapping cleverly. Dagg bemused the last two defenders, putting a jubilant Savea over. Surely this wraps up the result, with 35min to play.

43: Dagg goes long and Ireland try to counter but lose it. Guildford kicks ahead but it's off an Irish player and into touch on halfway.

42: Numerous waves of Ireland attack but it's a little laboured and they knock on, still 20m out from the NZ line.

41: We're back under way. Smith throws a typically crisp pass to McCaw, and the skipper spills it! Early attacking scrum for Ireland.

HALFTIME NZ 23 Ireland 3:

Plenty for All Blacks fans to pleased about but there will be just one play on everyone's lips over the 10-odds minutes of halftime. Julian Savea has lived up to the hype and more in a debut bristling with power and potential. He's scored both of the test's tries so far but also looked dangerous every time he's touched the ball - one early error aside - along with pulling off a thumping tackle.

Carter's back and as influential as ever, with variety in his passing and kicking complementing a perfect goalkicking display which has reaped 13 points.

Ireland can feel deflated by the scoreline. They were the better side through the first 15-20 minutes and have been a constant menace at ruck time, with the likes of O'Brien and Heaslip pulling off turnovers.

However, they don't possess they same game-breaking backs as the hosts, they're passing just that little bit laboured in comparison.

They'll struggle to make up 20 points over the final 40 minutes and will be anxious that their defensive line - which has generally been quite impressive - can stay staunch.

Hansen will want his men to tighten up some of their breakdown work and call for more of the same at set piece.


40: They surge down the right but Dagg passes to quickly to Guildford. The movement breaks down and a relieved Ireland hack it out to the sound of the halftime hooter.

40: Ireland penalised from the kickoff and the All Blacks clear to another attacking lineout. Could there be more points?

39: Conversion Carter. NZ 23 Ireland 3.

From the left touchline. That's five from five for DC.

39: TRY Savea. NZ 21 Ireland 3.

What a debut for the young Wellington winger. He takes a sweet pass from Dagg and barges over in the tackle of Kearney and Murray. This time it's his bulk rather than his speed that's on show. Wow, this kid has got some real talent. Doesn't look at all nervous in his first taste of the big stage.

38: Whitelock wins it and Aaron makes a halfbreak. The ball swings quickly down a left-side blind...

37: Defensive lineout win and Sexton clears to Ireland's 22m. More defending coming up for the men in green.

35: The All Blacks set up a rolling maul and go close but Whitelock is bundled into touch.

34: Tuohy wins it and Ireland drive, not very far. Loose pass from O'Driscoll and the All Blacks pounce and surge with another counter attack. It ends as Dagg grubbers ahead and Zebo is forced to take it into touch 5m out. Huge play. Sexton is getting treatment - the visitors will do well to prevent more points coming here.

32: Excellent Irish recycling and they're looking fluent though the black wall holds firm - unitl they concede a penalty. Looks like it's McCaw for coming in at the side. Ireland turn down the shot from wide out and nudge it out for a 5m lineout.

31: Good lineout win and Ireland look good as new winger Zebo cuts off an Earls pass. They're 15m out.

30: Another wave of All Blacks attacks but McCaw is penalised for holding on. Sexton clears to just inside the NZ half.

28: Savea can't be held back. This time he's make a clean linebreak and surging to 30m out from the Irish line before he's ankle tapped. There's a turnover and the visitors scramble it clear. The All Blacks are starting to hum.

27: CONVERSION Carter. NZ 16 Ireland 3.

26: TRY Savea. NZ 14 Ireland 3.

All Blacks counter attacking at it's finest. The thrust came when SBW cut back off a Conrad Smith pass. SBW offloaded to Carter who set Savea free 25m out. The big winger showed little emotion as he brought the ball around under the crossbar.

26: Ireland win the lineout and box kick deep. Bad mistake as the All Blacks counter....

24: After 17 phases hammering away at the Irish line, the All Blacks are penalised! Epic defence from Ireland and it's flanker O'Brien who forced Retallick to give away the penalty for holding on.

22: Ireland give away another scrum free kick. NZ take a scrum themselves and attack effectively down the right, 5m out from the tryline.

21: SBW smashes it up from the lineout - gosh he's being used a lot - but the ball isn't freed from the ruck and it's an Irish scrum just inside their half.

20: All Blacks run it out again. They end up with a lineout throw just inside their own half as an Aaron Smith kick is charged down.

19: PENALTY Carter. NZ 9 Ireland 3.

Magnificent kick from there. Carter's on song tonight with the boot.

18: A couple of deep kicks before WHAMO. Julian Savea announces himself on the test stage with driving tackle on Kearney. Ireland on the back foot as Whitelock and Woodcock drive in. Another AB penalty on halfway, this time near the left touchline but Carter is confident enough to step up..

17: PENALTY Carter. NZ 6 Ireland 3.

Helped by a slight breeze it sailed over. NZ a little lucky to lead as Ireland have looked the better side til now.

15: SBW makes surging midfield run off this lineout and O'Brien is pinged at the ruck. Mr Owen is giving his whistle a decent workout. Carter steps up 1m inside Ireland's half, straight in front. A good test of his groin here..

14: Retallick wins his first lineout and Ireland's Heaslip is penalised. Carter finds touch on halfway.

13: Smith kicks deep and Ireland counter effectively again. Sexton kicks tactically and the All Blacks throw in 10m from their own line.

11: Ireland on the charge as SBW loses possession in a strong tackle and O'Driscoll pops an offload to Earls. Play breaks down 10m out from the NZ line.

9: All Blacks knock on from kickoff and Ireland produce a strong scrum. Ireland go wide and look good, surging to 40m out with quick hands. A long period of play ends with Dagg spiralling the ball 10m inside Ireland's half. The visitors looking sharper with ball in hand early on. A highlight being Kearney shrugging off the hulking frame of SBW.

7: PENALTY Sexton. NZ 3 Ireland 3

6: All Blacks win the deep kick off and try to run it out. Dagg fires a neat offload to Williams but NZ are penalised at the ruck, it's Aaron Smith for hands in the ruck. Sexton steps up with a slightly tougher shot than Carter had - but still well kickable.

4: PENALTY Carter. NZ 3 Ireland 0

That's 1253 test points for the No 10 from Southbridge.

3: Ireland conceded a free kick at the scrum and the All Blacks tap quickly. Ireland have hands in the ruck just outside their 22 and nearly straight in front. Up steps world record pointscorer Carter.

2: Read wins the lineout but play breaks down when new winger Savea spills the ball in a strong O'Driscoll tackle. Irish scrum, just on their side of halfway.

1: Both teams turn the ball once each from the All Blacks' short kick before the Irish spread the ball wide. They look ambitious tonight before Sexton chips into touch 10m inside the All Blacks' half. Tidy start by the visitors.

The All Blacks to kickoff as Welsh referee Nigel Owens gets set to peep.

The first haka of the year is led by reserve halfback Piri Weepu, and it's Ka Mate.

Conditions are close to perfect at the Garden of Eden. Both teams are belting out their national anthems in cool, crisp conditions, with just a slight waft to be seen in the flags on the field.


Welcome to our live coverage of the first test between the All Blacks and Ireland at Eden Park.

The hosts are playing the first test since the epic World Cup final triumph, at the same venue, seven months ago.

They've got a new coach and Steve Hansen will be hoping their is no Cup hangover - nor any rust - against an Irish side weakened slightly by injury but still threatening a serious challenge.

Can the Brian O'Driscoll-led visitors claim their first ever test win over the All Blacks or will the world champions - boosted by the return of champion first five-eighth Dan Carter and three newcomers in winger Julian Savea, halfback Aaron Smith and lock Brodie Retallick - defend their spectacular record at Eden Park?

Kickoff is at 7.35pm:


New Zealand: Israel Dagg, Zac Guildford, Conrad Smith, Sonny Bill Williams, Julian Savea, Dan Carter, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (capt), Victor Vito, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Owen Franks, Andrew Hore, Tony Woodcock. Reserves: Hika Elliot, Ben Franks, Ali Williams, Adam Thomson, Piri Weepu, Aaron Cruden, Ben Smith.

Ireland: Rob Kearney, Fergus McFadden, Brian O'Driscoll (capt), Keith Earls, Simon Zebo, Jonathan Sexton, Conor Murray, Jamie Heaslip, Sean O'Brien, Peter Mahony, Donnacha Ryan, Dan Touhy, Declan Fitzpatrick, Rory Best, Cian Healy. Reserves: Sean Cronin, Ronan Loughney, Donncha O'Callaghan, Kevin McLaughlin, Eoin Reddan, Ronan O'Gara, Darren Cave.

- Stuff

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