Random great tries from 2008


Henry Tuilagi swats Zee Ngwenya away


Brendon Leonard's brutal headclash


Beauden Barrett's 2013 Try of the Year


Ref Romain Poite in front of the kicker


Rodney Ah You smashes Alistair Hargeaves


Sebastien Chabal knocks out Marc Giraud


Brian O'Driscoll brilliance against NZ


Ben May nearly scores greatest prop try

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The All Blacks turn it on at Eden Park with big win over Ireland

An action packed weekend has come to a close, with each side in the new Rugby Championship picking up wins in their respective matches. There's plenty to catch up on so here's a quick look at the first test of the weekend, New Zealand vs Ireland.

The All Blacks continued their dominance over Ireland by maintaining their 107  year, one hundred percent unbeaten record with a convincing 42-10 victory in Auckland on Saturday.

Young debutant winger Julian Savea scored a hat-trick of tries, as new head coach Steve Hansen recorded his first win in charge. Adam Thomson and Conrad Smith also scored, while Dan Carter was back in sizzling form, and added four conversions and three penalties with the boot.

If Ireland are to get anything from the three-test series they will need to find a way to produce the impressive few minutes they showed early in the first half, for most of the eighty.

"We started okay but in fairness to them they played with a very fast tempo and we didn't slow their ruck ball down enough," said captain Brian O'Driscoll.

"When they're playing that way they're difficult to defend against, you're chasing shadows a bit. A huge amount to work on but we've got two more chances, two more cracks at it."

You can now view the full match here.
Highlights and clips from the rest of the weekend's games will be posted soon

Posted at 2:24 pm | 38 comments

All Blacks vs Ireland - 1st Test - Full Match

Viewing 38 comments

Reality June 10, 2012 8:53 pm

Is it just me, or does anyone else just get embarrassed any time Ireland play now? At least in the past you could be proud that they gave a good performance even if they didn't win, but now I just feel that we're becoming a laughing stock, and rightly so. I actually feel sorry for the New Zealand rugby public: they're paying for tickets three times to see their top-class team hammer this quite frankly crap team. It'd be like if Ireland played Namibia three times in the November internationals.

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WelshOsprey June 10, 2012 10:03 pm

It didn't help ireland that new zealand were brilliant.
Doesnt make sense how the irish clubs are so strong in all areas and play great rugby but the national team struggle to function at times.

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Full Back June 13, 2012 12:36 pm

It is getting embarrassing, I keep hoping we're going to make a leap ahead and it seems like we're going backwards.
I don't like the way Kidney manages our backline, it's basically all Leinster and yet plays boring rugby at Int level. I'm starting to see him as the Jack Charlton of rugby, he won his grand slam so now he can feel free to waste a wealth of talent.
Even though I'm an Irish fan, a part of me is happy we got trounced, maybe Schmidt will be considered before the next 6nations, or at least in time to prepare properly for the RWC2015.
On top of the fact that the All Blacks are superior in almost all areas, of course it didn't help that we're missing Bowe and Ross, and it certainly doesn't help when Kidney breaks up a 9/10 partnership like Reddan and Sexton to put in Murray. On top of all that it can't be easy playing against talented players who are peaking when you have a full season in your legs.
We looked good for the first 20 mins, then once we had been sized up and despite some decent play never looked like scoring a try, we got hammered. Painful to watch, lets hope the silver lining (Schmidt) is on the way!

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stroudos June 10, 2012 9:37 pm

You reckon your lot would beat Namibia that convincingly? ;)

Got the football on in the background here and your football team is getting a spanking also. Getting it on all fronts...

I wouldn't worry about the rugby though mate. Once the next two games are out of the way it'll be back to normality. Just look for any positive glimmers of hope against NZ and enjoy the moments while they last!

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Pretzel June 10, 2012 9:37 pm

Lol, Reality definitely sounds a bit fed up. I do feel for Irish fans, I mean when I watched the game I started to get distracted by things like my phone, people coming in and out of the room when most matches I am fixated on the screen, it just became one of those "oh, what? New Zealand HAVEN'T scored another try yet??!?" I mean I think if I was an Ireland supporter I'd have turned it off and gone and done something more productive.

Something which did seem to catch my eye was how NZ threw Savea into the match. I'm not sure if it because he is just really good, or because NZ are just really good, or what, but he was RIGHT in it. Something I sort of feel is that in many NH teams it looks as if new players are left to dip their toes in to test if the water is warm enough, then they slowly sort of climb in... Whereas it looked like NZ picked up Savea and threw him in without even knowing if he could swim... As I said maybe he is just REALLY good so it would be an unfair comparison.

Not really much to congratulate NZ on, I A LOT of stuff they did was just textbook stuff (expected in an early match) and Ireland were just pathetically bad. Probably again just a high five for that man on the wing, very strong player, looked like someone winning his 20th-30th cap, not his 1st! NZ succeeded to use their infamous rucking technique of lying on the wrong side. But really that isn't something one can consider in assessing the match, I get the impression that if NZ had not done any of that they'd still have won by 30 points...

I'll keep my fingers crossed for all Irish fans, all NZ fans, and indeed all rugby fans, that the next 2 matches aren't as pitiful as this one was...

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paimoe June 10, 2012 10:45 pm

He was Junior player of the year I think 2010 (and 2009 was Aaron Cruden) and he has a lot of exp in the Juniors. But it was pretty reassuring how well he took to the game for someone in their first test. Like you said most debuts are a 20min cameo at the end of the game.

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paimoe June 10, 2012 10:43 pm

Red card for Kearney I think for tackling Dan Carter at the end there and not letting him get a try.

Also NZ gave away a LOT of turnovers, which is concerning, but for now I'll chalk it up to first test and everyone wants to have a run.

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UlsterJoey June 10, 2012 11:17 pm

There's a really interesting blog post regarding Irish W/L/D ratios for the past 5 years and it's horrific when you see it, Leinster, Ulster and Munster do well and the Irish team plummets to below parity on the win ratio, I don't know what it is but I certainly feel Realist's pain.

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SCHULL KRUSHER June 11, 2012 3:45 am

Its the coaching and selection politics - as usual

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thamesrowingclub June 11, 2012 2:28 am

It seems to me when you have players that succeed at the club level but not the test level the problem is coaching. That said, NZ is a better side and always has been (at least since 1905). Maybe not always 30 pts better but usually at least 15 pts better.

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Cecil June 12, 2012 12:48 am

I disagree. Players who succeed at club level can not always make the step up to International level, and very few do (especially against the AB's). Its not so much a matter of coaching.

In terms of selection, I have the idea that the Irish clubs are not made up of 100% Irish players?, but the majority are from different countries: NZ, Aus, SA, Samoa. Ex-internationals who are their better players. So this is why a good Irish club doesnt translate to a good Irish team.

Saying that 'its the coaching and selection politics - as usual' is just a cop out, and is not giving the AB's their dues.

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Pretzel June 12, 2012 3:29 am

Its the minority actually. The majority of players in the Irish club teams are Irish due to their politics... No one is trying to take away the NZ win and performance, they're just trying to work out why Ireland are playing so atrociously at times when they should be solid...

There were a few occasions where NZ ended up with the ball not through their own good play but through Irelands poor play, now that kind of thing shouldn't be happening at international level...

I agree that many players cannot make that step up, but something is odd when a country with many strong winning teams cannot perform against even its neighbours when their club teams beat their neighbours club teams... I know its not as clear cut as that, but it should at least follow a similar trend/path..

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pearseobrien@hotmail.com June 13, 2012 1:48 am

It really is more of a minority of foreign players in the Ireland provincial teams. The current Munster squad has four foreign players, Leinster has two, and Connacht and Ulster with 6 & 9 but imo i think that Ulster is being held together by their South African players and is not really leave much room for Upcoming Irish players.

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Pretzel June 11, 2012 2:23 pm

It has to be said that Ireland have genuinely struggled to perform for as long as I can remember...

I know that comment will leave me open to abuse from any mad Irishmen and I apologise if it does cause offence, but my point still stands, I remember YEARS ago, 10+ years, Ireland used to play quite well in the 5-6 nations and keep up, if not get ahead with the opposition for the first 40-55 minutes, then they'd die a thousand deaths in the last moments of the game and lose out... I only bring it up because it feels like perhaps Ireland are almost right on track of where they used to be years ago, and any successes in the interim were almost "blips" on their record..

As I said, I am not trying to cause offence because I too have seen the statistics on their home club teams, but it almost seems like they are always plagued when it comes to international levels. Although saying all that ^^^ I don't recall how well their club teams were doing 10+ years ago...

I'd agree the management needs a shake up of some sort.. I feel for BOD actually, the guy has been through it, thick and thin, and is still expected to give a die hard performance... I almost get the impression he has played so well over the years that he dare not give up the jersey to some young guns player who will stuff it up... but really at his age, I'd have thought they'd be looking at turning BOD into either a super sub, or someone that can give 80 mins performance in the first 40...

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stroudos June 11, 2012 2:52 pm

Well, I'm not joining the Ireland are rubbish bandwagon. I think all of the six nations teams would get properly trounced at Eden Park at the moment. With the caveat that I didn't manage to see the whole game, from what I did see, NZ not only stuffed the Irish but played well within themselves too. On this form, at home, I don't think any team can beat them. Ozzies and/or Boks maybe, but I don't think so.

A good thrashing by the All Blacks can actually be character-building. For Ireland, I predict two more canings in NZ, followed by much-improved performances in the autumn internationals and 2013 six nations...

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moddeur June 11, 2012 3:10 pm

Now that the world cup is over, now that the unpleasant business of French-bashing in the NZ press, and of NZ-bashing in just about every Northern forum, it's good to be reminded why the All-Blacks are such a formidable force. AB players are probably selected according to their capacity to repeat an "I will destroy you" motto. Not for their technical skills alone, which as we all know are abundant.
One example: at 10-3, the Irish kicked to touch about 30m from goal, instead of going for a 3-point penalty. The following maul failed (poor choice by the scrum-half to release the ball too early while the maul was well-formed). A minute later, the ABs get a penalty 30m from the Irish goal-line... and they also kick to touch, because they are thinking, at that moment, "Oh so you thought you could slip one past us with sheer forward power, well you though wrong because WE-WILL-DESTROY-YOU."
I think this is why France is the only Northern team that can (sometimes) stand up to the ABs. The French are all revolutionaries-at-hear and thus hate being told what to do (which is also why they lack discipline and nearly had a mutiny against Lièvremont during the world cup).
Watch out Ireland, if you don't get angry and revolt, the ABS will DESTROY YOU again and again.

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stroudos June 11, 2012 4:10 pm

Bang on, Moddeur. The French - and possibly the Aussies but their effect is diluted by familiarity - are the only ones with that ability to really get under the ABs' collective skin, unsettle them and disrupt their flow. They are the Rage Against The Machine of rugby - ie "**** you I won't do what you tell me!". This is precisely why I have a rule to never bet money on any game involving the French - you just can't second guess them.

The ABs' technical skills and physical preparation are second-to-none, but it's as much about the psychology. England '03 are possibly the last team I remember appearing like they genuinely believed they were going to win when they played against New Zealand. I don't think France at the world cup final quite had that, but what they did have was an attitude that said, "no, piss off, we're not here just to make up the numbers, we're going to take the game to you".

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Pretzel June 11, 2012 10:13 pm

"They are the Rage Against The Machine of rugby - ie "**** you I won't do what you tell me!""

LMAO, in the words of Jed Thian:

"Set phase middle of the track let's look at what the french would do, 9 to 10, 10 miss pass to 13, 13 pass to 15 coming into the line, 15 behind the back pop pass to 14 hit back on the angle, 14 to 10, 10 short ball to 11 on the inside, 11 cuts 12, 12 dummy to 10, 12 behind the back pop pass to 7, 7 into contact FIGHT, someone loses a testicle, 10 calls his wife, 14 sends a text to the girlfriend, 15 sends a text to 14's girlfriend, FIGHT, French hooker scores"

And the All blacks? "Weepu to Carter, Carter to Rockokoko, Rockokoko hits the jets try"

Lol...

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kadova June 11, 2012 11:44 pm

Lol ! I didn't know this was told about my team. You see, we love collective tries :)

As for the Irish, they miss 3 great players and they have no replacement props. The clubs resolved the issue in taking foreign players, instead of getting Irish players into their teams.

I do hope the Irish play better in the next tests, as the ABs made quite some mistakes in this one, that they won't make again.

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rob10 June 11, 2012 3:11 pm

declan kidney is the problem i'm afraid IMO. Just like mclaughlin at ulster they come from a school rugby background. Selection problems have been shown by both of these coaches, jackson over humphreys etc and for me it shows how possibly loyalties can get in the way. Like the persistent selection of d'arcy.

Irish coaches just don't seem to be streetwise and i think if we had an external coach we would be much better, we'll see how ulster do with anscombe next year.

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mcquickscopez June 11, 2012 6:45 pm

yeah darcy isnt good these days. i dont feel heaslip should have played the 6n s he didnt play well since maybe 2009!? although i see his point now as hes played decently recently and ferris is injured. obrien still at 7 , i agree that if ur going to play him 7 when ferris comes back then continue to play him at 7 although when ferris is available in think it should be 6 ferris 7 o mahnoy 8 obrien

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UlsterJoey June 11, 2012 8:25 pm

I think O'Brien loves the 7 shirt now to be honest, I don't think he did at first but he's really made it his own. Heaslip can think what he wants he was on the downhill from 2009 there were just no good 8-men to put pressure on his shirt in the national set up so while technically superb I just think he got a little complacent in the national set up. If there's one thing that bugs me it's the fact that Kidney Failure never picks on form when he really should. I'm not a big fan of D'Arcy or Wallace and both should have been replaced earlier to try new players at inside centre but this year for the first time in a long time both of them have shown their best form to date! Form trumps reliability especially since, when it comes to picking old reliable, the ABs will punish constantly because old reliable is also old predictable...

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rob10 June 11, 2012 10:04 pm

cave and o'malley for my liking.

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cool calm and collected June 11, 2012 10:07 pm

New Zealand never seem to blood players, in the sense of bringing on more in-experonces players, because they players they bring on are just as good as the ones that have left.

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Pretzel June 11, 2012 10:14 pm

So true, as I was saying up there, there is no sort of "let him test the water first" the guys are thrown right in at the deep end, and somehow they are always able to swim like Olympians!

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cool calm and collected June 11, 2012 10:16 pm

Also in my opinion Richie Mccaw should make way,
as to be honest he is no longer the player he was. I fear that soon New Zealand will be keeping him in the team because they are afraid not to have him in the team, despite the potential dip in his performances, viewing him as a talsiman not a player. Great player, one of the best, but perhaps time to make way for the young guns, as i have no doubt that new zealand have many 7's in the line to replace him, just as good if not better. Its all about looking forward to the next rwc.

Good luck ireland, you'll need it. Its going to be a long series and to be honest out of all the european teams, bar Italy, you were probably in the worst position to face the no 1 team in the world. Get a new coach! because you have so much talent!

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JG June 12, 2012 12:21 am

Good point about Richie McCaw. As an AB fan I can see that he is starting to lose his edge. It is possible that he will improve, and I hope he does, though I am not sure he will. I also think though that there is a plan in place to replace him in Sam Kane, this young guy is really good and will only improve with age. Expect to see him more and more over the next couple of years. I also think that Keiren Read will replace Richie as captain before the end of next year.

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Pretzel June 12, 2012 3:33 am

I think the danger with McCaw is that he could become the next BOD (talisman) as he said... therefore locking in that jersey... I think that has been Irelands downfall in some respects, they view BOD as irreplaceable, which has its truths, but he shouldn't know that, and neither should any team mates or up an coming players...

I think McCaw will be around for a little longer, still some life in the old dog yet... who knows he might even make it to the next RWC as a sub... :)

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stroudos June 12, 2012 7:21 am

What is this heresy I'm reading here!? McCaw should make way... losing his edge... not the player he was... Surely this is bordering on blasphemy - and one of the comments is by a Kiwi...

Valid points though of course and the ABs definitely need to start thinking about the post-Richie era though or what happens if he's injured etc. And I must say Sam Kane sounds like a good name for a rugby player.

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breakaway June 12, 2012 8:52 am

Thanks for the full match replay RD, just caught up with the first 30 min which I'd missed. On McCaw, if he's losing it then I don't see much evidence of it in this game. But maybe he's come back to the field a little and is only as good as Pocock these days, which makes them both still the best #7s going round. Way too early to even consider putting him out to pasture.

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cool calm and collected June 12, 2012 6:12 pm

Mccaw is Not as good as Pocock (currently)!, Pocock is on another level to any 7 at the moment, Pocock had a huge impact on the game last weekend, and lets be honest Pocock and Genia were the two main reasons for Australia winning that test. I would have classed Warbuton as the next best, however he was outclassed and outmuscled by Pocock last weekend.

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Eggman June 12, 2012 8:07 pm

Agree with cool calm and collected on the Pocock/McCaw debate. Pocock (at least right now) is the best 7 going around. The are McCaw is still better than him (probably) is things like leadership and dealing with the refs. I think it is exactly for those qualities that NZ will need to hang on to Richie. Even if he isn't the best openside in the world anymore, he is still one of the best, and in my opinion better than anyone else in NZ. Add to that his fantastic leadership and dealing with refs and you'd be mad to get rid of him right now.

However, a slow transition would be a good idea. Maybe actively looking for a replacement and throwing him into a match once the game is one or maybe after this years four nations would be a good way to prepare for the post-richie era. I doubt he will be the best openside in NZ in the next year or at the very latest the year after, let alone compared to Pocock, Warburton or Brüssow..

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breakaway June 13, 2012 10:25 am

If there is a Pocock/McCaw debate it isn't settled by one test match. Personally I'd put them both in my World XV and let them sort out how they want to pack down. I haven't seen much of Brussow lately but I know how good he can be, but in Brisbane the second and third best loosies were daylight and daylight. You'll get no argument from me there.

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Eggman June 13, 2012 4:16 pm

I agree that the contest still is close, but I do think that Pocock as an individual is better than McCaw as an individual, if you only base your evaluation on how they perform, without taking into account leadership.
It also has to be taken into consideration that McCaw almost always plays with a vastly superior pack behind him than Pocock, whether it's in the Bledisloe Cup or with the Crusaders. Both times he gets far better support from his fellow forwards than Pocock does.

But yeah, at the end of the day it doesn't make too much sense arguing over who's better since we'll probably never fully agree.. Let's just agree that they're both great opensides ;)

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Steve June 12, 2012 2:42 pm

Without Bowe Ireland don't really have any out and out finishers. If you look at the six nations and world cup I think he was the only player that ever really looked dangerous on the ball against the top teams. Without Ferris they're a bit soft looking at times, and without O'Connell they lack quality in the second row and a bit of leadership.

Having said that fair play to NZ I'm not saying they wouldn't have stuffed us anyway but I don't think it would have been as bad - but maybe it would've been more like the 38 - 18 match a couple of years back where Ireland probably had a bit more self respect at the end of it.

One thing you'll notice is that the Ireland team is pretty much unchanged from that game apart from changes forced by injury/retirement. Speaks volumes for Declan Kidney's conservative nature. I also don't understand how a country with such a small player pool can ignore quality players playing in the English Premiership - Roger Wilson, James Downey etc. I'm looking forward to these two coming back to Ireland next season - hopefully they'll be considered for national duties

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kiwi June 13, 2012 5:00 am

A lot of the talk about McCaw's decline and need to retire revolves around one knock on, and being made to look slow by a winger!!!

Like Mark Twain once said, "Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated."

McCaw's been written off before.

Let's let the season progress before we get too premature!!!

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