Rupeni Caucau try and nice assist


Seru Rabeni crunching tackle on McFadden


Isa Nacewa tackle on Gareth Owen


Henry Tuilagi swats Zee Ngwenya away


Japanese swallow dive try blooper


Mourad Boudjellal on building Toulon


Matt Toomua Falcon vs the All Blacks


Carlos Spencer & Stephen Larkham fight


Buck Shelford tribute

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dan Carter breaks Irish hearts as the All Blacks take series win

Ireland put together a much stronger performance in the second test of their tour of New Zealand, coming close to drawing with the All Blacks if it werent for a late snap drop goal from flyhalf Dan Carter, who sealed the series as they won the game 22-19.

After the 42-10 drubbing a week prior, nobody expected Ireland to pose much of a threat to the All Blacks, who were playing their first game in Christchurch since the earthquakes.

Ireland surprised everybody though as a determined, passionate showing brought them within inches of claiming their first ever win against New Zealand.

Carter, who is looking back to his best of late, broke the hearts of Irish fans in the dying seconds as the All Blacks piled on the pressure and he snuck a quick drop goal for the win.

"We're absolutely gutted alright," said Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll. "To concede early in the second half and then to fight back to get level and then to concede it the way we did at the end is very, very disappointing.

"But it was such a massive improvement over last week and I'm so proud of the lads. I just think we let ourselves down a little bit last week and let the jersey down. We talked about that this week and talked about concentrating on our own game and playing with the ball a little more.

"I think we managed to do that and we had them in trouble a few times but the scoreline still says an All Blacks victory which is difficult to take."

New Zealand have now won the series 2-0, but Ireland have another crack at them next week in the final Test. You can view highlights of the game below, and watch the full match here

Credit: rugsta15

Posted at 1:10 pm | 29 comments

All Blacks vs Ireland 2012 - 2nd Test - Full Match

All Blacks vs Ireland 2012 - 1st Test - Full Match

The All Blacks turn it on with big win over Ireland

Viewing 29 comments

cool calm and collected June 19, 2012 7:17 pm

Serious respect for ireland (coming form an englishman), you reallly gave it to them, and you achieved what not many SH teams, let alone NH teams, have ever achieved, and that was pushing the All Blacks to the absolute limit, a last minuite drop goal salvaging them a win in their own backyard!.

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thamesrowingclub June 19, 2012 7:21 pm

So close. Not to many teams on planet earth come close to beating the AB's in NZ. The Irish can play some helified ball sometimes.

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This comment has been removed

Pretzel June 19, 2012 8:30 pm

I missed the game, but I have heard a few reports about "interesting reffing"... it's lead me to wonder whether the poor refereeing is in actual fact the same in every other game, but because the AB's are on such a relatively constant high, that people always notice it a lot more because they feel that if the referee had picked up on the NZ faults then the game would be closer...?!?!

Get what I mean?

Or do NZ just get away with murder?

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JG June 19, 2012 11:53 pm

The article that this links to is so blantantly Irish bias it is embarrasing. One of the obvious tactics from the Irish was to illegally hold back All Black players at the ruck, which they did all night long without once getting penalised. I noticed that there was not one reference to this in the article.

The All Blacks are not perfect with legal play, but neither are the Irish, it goes both ways.

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memberbenefits June 20, 2012 3:41 pm

I think you´ll find that if you read that article correctly it´s so much corcerned with ¨legal play¨ but more with the inconsistency of the reffing.

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Reality June 19, 2012 8:43 pm

That was some match! Maybe I'm not being very objective here, but I thought that was one of the best matches I had seen in a long time. Two teams going at it, hammer and tongs, with neither playing boring, safe rugby, but rather exciting, intense stuff. And for the first time in God knows how long, I can actually say that I was happy and proud of how Ireland played; even Hansen said afterwards that they deserved to win - something which is very rare for the Irish national team lately, regardless of opposition.

I don't think they've turned a corner, and I have the feeling that they'll go back to being crap this weekend and after that, but at least I had a nice break from disappointment, and could actually cheer for a week.

What's the story with New Zealand though? I mean Piri Weepu is overweight, slow, and evidently not very accurate in what he does. Why was he playing? Is it just because they want a Maori to lead the Haka rather than some Caucasian? Ali Williams as well was just poor.

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Full Back June 20, 2012 12:31 am

What do you reckon Reality, chance missed or can they bring it to them again? I have a horrible feeling that the next one will be painful, hope I'm wrong but RWC final aside, I don't think I've seen that many errors from an AB side in the last 15yrs.
I know how the Italians felt after Rome 2011 now!

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Reality June 20, 2012 8:43 pm

Ah, it was definitely a chance missed. The planets seemed to have aligned for that match: New Zealand didn't play well; they picked some bad players; Ireland played out of their skins; it was a shame that they didn't win, because they were undoubtedly the better team on the day.

Having said that, I too am expecting painful viewing this Saturday. The All Blacks aren't going to be as poor, and the Irish won't be as good, so I'm going pessimistic about the outcome. It's such a shame though, when you look at the players Ireland has, you look at how they played, but then you see them week in week out play terrible, headless-chicken rugby against teams they could and should beat easily.

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Pretzel June 21, 2012 11:06 am

I'd agree with that sentiment, I too have a feeling that Ireland will walk into the next game thinking "Wow, come on lads, we almost won that last game" and they'll end up looking like schoolboys with NZ punishing every half mistake Ireland make...

We'll see, but I can't honestly say that I expect the outcome to be similar to this match!

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Cluainoir June 19, 2012 8:49 pm

My previous comment was removed, Ok, just let me say this, Ireland had the All Blacks on the rack, advancing scrum just outside the NZ 22 when Mr Owen (is that better rugbydump?) gave a penalty against Ireland for wheeling the scrum when it should have been against New Zealand for 1. The prop slipping the bind and 2. the back row coming up and detaching from the scrum, all of this happened right in front of the "referee". The latter meaning that Cian Healy was driving against nothing. All this with 6 minutes left on the clock. The resulting "penalty" meant that the All Blacks cleared their line and built the phases (despite a knock on again not spotted by the afore mentioned Mr Owen) to enable them to score the winning drop goal. To say that we were robbed is an understatement.

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sean June 20, 2012 2:51 am

look, we could have won it before that decision. Yes, it was crap decision, but we can just as easily say sexton should have knocked over the penalty or at least went for the corner and set up a drop goal attempt. Anyway, it's old news now, let's move on to the final match a get the win!

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boohoo June 19, 2012 9:30 pm

what a whinger!!ireland were spoiling new zealands ball all night and continually got away with it,without punishment.ireland were by far the better team that night and deserved a win...but they didnt.they've moved on and are looking for a win.why dont you move on as well cluainoir

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Full Back June 20, 2012 12:03 am

I don't want to whinge, I don't think the ref is to blame for the outcome, BUT...I agree with Cluainoir on the scrum, odd decision to say the least and I think it's a bit rich to point out Ireland's spoiling of the ball( I agree with you btw) when the AB's got away with clearing out the fringes of the rucks(completely illegal) as well as the rucks themselves(usually off their feet). At one stage a penalty was given against Ireland while Carter (unusual for him) was clinging on to 2 jerseys while standing in an offside position.
That said I prefer seeing the game flow rather than nit-picking reffing and so when that's the case you just have to take the good with the bad. I'm a big fan of All Blacks rugby and just hope we make as good a game of it in Hamilton!
Some odd decisions, definitely, biased refereeing? Definitely not.

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Cluainoir June 20, 2012 4:34 pm

To be called a whinger by someone who choses to call him/her self boohoo, thats irony. My point was the call (completely wrong decision) completely swung the momentum of the game in favour of the ab's who were on the back foot and staring defeat in the eye. Why he chose not to see the blatant infringments in the scrum is a complete mystery when he was standing straight in front of them. If these refereeing "slips" are not noted and commented on, then there will be no improvment in standards of refereeing to the detrement of the game as a hole.

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eweoflittlefaith June 19, 2012 9:33 pm

Delighted to see Ireland played with spirit, not just for the sake of my team but also because Christchurch deserved a great match.

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greatgame June 19, 2012 9:58 pm

Ireland did fantastic to have the abs on the ropes, but what a pity o'brien is playing 7 for all concerned, we nor the kiwis have seen him ball carry and they would enjoy it as much as us, how u can play the best ball carrier in europe at 7 and have him tackle an scavage at rucks is unbelieveable, although o'gara should have found him wide in the last ten mins instead of going himself, that would have been interesting to see what he could have done

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daveirish June 19, 2012 10:57 pm

wouldnt mind seeing Cian Healys hit on Sonny Bill Williams in the second half of the match again. absolute beast

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Monty June 19, 2012 11:16 pm

Ireland really frustrated the AB's and I have to say McCaw's 'tactics' were exposed.

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Jon June 20, 2012 5:27 am

To those complaining about the ref, I hate to say it, because I get frustrated by refs all the time, but you can't blame them too much.
The great teams rise up and play above the ref.

Credit to Ireland, what a fantastic, brave, committed performance. The thing that the Irish have been capable of in the last five or ten years is raising there intensity levels and defending like demons. It's their great strength. I think the only problem with that as a strength is that there's no way to play like that every week. If they just had the world class attack to go with it, they'd be a terrifying prospect.

Beating NZ in their own backyard is a monumental feat and they came within an inch of getting a draw at the least, which is impressive in itself.

Back to the reffing, a couple things.
1. Owens style is more suited to Ireland than NZ, in my opinion. He's fastidious and tends to favor defense more than some other refs, which suits Ireland's hard nosed, defensive approach.
2. He made some calls which were 50-50, but what ref doesn't. And yes a few more went NZ's way than Ireland's but that always happens (ie the home team always gets the benefit of doubt on most 50-50 calls). In Ireland, it would be the NZ team getting the short end of the straw (and trust me, it's hard to stomach for any fan but it definitely goes both ways).
3. The truly great teams rise above the ref and win anyway. I've seen teams like NZ, Aus and SA get penalized to buggery in away tests and still find the where-withal to find a way to win.

Anyway, well done the Irish. To come back from the first test shellacking and pull out a performance like that deserves nothing but praise.

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breakaway June 20, 2012 6:17 am

It's a scandal .. for 107 years, no matter who the refs are or where they come from, north or south, they continue to refuse to let Ireland beat New Zealand at rugby union. Nobody has ever given me any reason why this conspiracy goes on, but it's just so obvious and something should be done about it! Obvious, that is, except to those of us who watch really closely and come away thinking that the breaks seem to clearly go both ways and both sides got away with a lot stuff. In the interests of a flowing game I prefer that, to every single transgression being whistled.
Ireland were so much better than in the previous test that some people claim they were plainly dominant. In reality the teams looked evenly matched for most of the game and there were periods when each had the upper hand but I don't think either side dominated. Both had enormous defence, line-breaks were at a minimum and it was a tough, hard fought, old school test, a bit like some of the classic NZ/SA arm wrestles that we've seen down the years, and that's as absorbing as rugby gets.
I don't think Ireland were unlucky to lose but they were unlucky not to draw and the NZers I've spoken to think so too. Carter's drop-kick looked like a sack of spuds going over the bar but you don't get the ABs' winning % against all-comers, with all sorts of refs, in all conditions, home and away, without finding a way to win the close ones more often than not.
Looking forward to the next test and I have no idea how it's going to go, which is just the way I like it. Last thought, I had the Sky commentary and now I can't ever take any complaints about bias in SH commentary seriously again, not that I did much before anyway.

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Full Back June 20, 2012 11:09 am

I agree with you, them's the breaks. Was an evenly matched game, which after the previous weeks drubbing translated for many as Ireland being dominant. Had the kick at the end gone in then we could be here talking about an historic win for Ireland which would of been as deserved as the AB's win was and you guys would have some embaressing fans coming on to forums whinging about the ref. As an Irishman I can say I find the article above to be annoyingly biased, even though he's clearly trying to hide it by pointing out the "fair enough" decisions.
I'm glad it was a freeflowing game, I'd like to see the rucks reffed a bit better for both sides sakes and I really hope we can come out and cause an upset in Hamilton. My biggest fear is that after playing so well and losing, it will be too difficult mentally for our guys to pull-off.
Tommy Bowe and Stephan Ferris were sorely missed, we have less depth than you guys at this level. Our U20's had a promising campaign though, maybe the tables will turn come RWC 2015 ;)

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UlsterJoey June 20, 2012 11:44 am

I dunno I can see the Irish team really finding their balls with this three test series, it's been a serious struggle for them but after a disappointing 6N and RWC I really hope this hits the consistency nail on the head.

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Reality June 20, 2012 8:29 pm

I'm seeing so much about how the referee robbed Ireland, but realistically, yes that last scrum penalty was a bad call, but bad calls at scrum time are the order of the day in this sport. You can't put the defeat down to that one decision.

Regarding Liam Toland and his article, he, as well as his colleague Gerry Thornley, is so biased it's unbelievable. The two of them just constantly complain about how refereeing decisions were unfair when they favoured the other team, but fair when they favoured the Irish. I often read the comments on the l'equipe website, and French people always complain about referees being biased towards Irish teams, and I always thought that they were just a bunch of whingey babies. But the Irish pundits (at least those in the Irish Times) are just as bad. That article is dripping with bias. In any breakdown or action in rugby there are loads of rules being broken; the idea is that the most obvious or the most egregious infraction is penalised. So you can always find reasons to penalise the other team. The All Blacks could find dozens of Irish fouls that went unpunished as well.

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ciaranbrk June 22, 2012 1:00 am

Well like it or not the decision Owens gave was wrong for the two reasons previously mentioned. He ruined a great match and the fact is Ireland for the last couple of years have been getting unfairly penalized and have been screwed out of matches by bad reffing decisions a lot the last two years that's a fact. All I want is consistency, Owens is a bit fast to go to the pocket for a card and his positional play at scrum time is appalling he does be on the wrong side of the scrum when his assistant can watch that side freeing him to look at the other side and perhaps he should stand a little back that way he can also watch the props bind and the two back rows still bound to the scrum.

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Colombes June 22, 2012 12:39 pm

Great performance from ireland
they nearly achieved what very few NH teams did in the past (France, England) winning on the white cloud
But sorry, don't bring the "ireland are always screwed by the ref" cause it's simply not true. furthermore, when owens who is well-known to be pro-celtic teams was leasing the match. he may did a mistake in the last minutes but his NH and defence priority way to ref favorized ireland...

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kadova June 22, 2012 11:25 pm

Ireland was really great and deserved to win the match, it's a pity they didn't.
Each time a game is close, the referee is blamed. That happens iall the time, remember the World Cup.
Now Ireland has to believe they can actually win.
Only France (and England in 2003) from NH were able to win in NZ, so Ireland, be the next !

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