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Sunday, June 08, 2008

All Blacks defeat Ireland in freezing conditions

All Blacks defeat Ireland in freezing conditions

The All Blacks say Saturday's 21-11 victory over Ireland in freezing, driving rain was the coldest weather they have ever played in.

With a chilly wind whipping through the Westpac Stadium, the conditions were worse than when they played in hail against the British and Irish Lions in Christchurch three years ago, according to All Blacks captain Richie McCaw.

"I've never really got cold out on the field but after half-time I was shivering," he said.

Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll was still shaking, even after a hot shower, when he fronted for the post-match press conference nearly an hour after the final whistle.

In an even match, the score was tied 11-11 with 20 minutes remaining when All Blacks flyhalf Dan Carter swung the result New Zealand's way with a penalty and then a telling break that resulted in a try to Ma'a Nonu.

Carter's cut through the Irish line to set up Nonu's try was "a moment of genius", according to Ireland coach Michael Bradley as he saw an end to Irish hopes of a historic first win against New Zealand in 103 years.

All Blacks coach Graham Henry said that while pleased with the outcome of his new-look side's first outing, little could be read into the game because of the weather.

UPDATE: This video has been removed by Mediazone who own the rights and no longer allow us to use SANZAR content

Note: Updated with better quality highlights

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