Wales off to a winning start in RWC

Drill: Fji's Favourite Warmup Game

England finish strongly to beat Fiji

Prop Reggie Goodes steamrolls back

Perpignan in Mass Brawl in Pro D2

All Blacks fined for waterboy Messam

James Schrader's sensational try saver

Toulon play the France '98 FIFA WC squad

Touching Haka from Under 20's

Monday, November 25, 2013

Irish hearts broken by All Blacks' last gasp converted try

New Zealand came from 19-0 down to beat Ireland 24-22 in an incredible game of rugby in Dublin on Sunday. With the win the All Blacks cement the record of the first ever top tier Test side in the professional era to win every match in a calendar year.

The visitors had to dig deep to snatch a late win, with replacement Ryan Crotty going over with time up. The TMO had to check both of the last two passes to see if they were forward, and once the try was awarded, Aaron Cruden had two shots at goal. This just wasn't meant to be for Ireland.

They shot off to an early lead though, and the home crowd thought the impossible was happening as Ireland led 22-7 at halftime thanks to tries from Conor Murray, Rory Best and Rob Kearney. They didn't score a point in the second half though, and Jonny Sexton missed a late penalty kick.

"I thought if that had gone over it would have been game over but instead it missed and I could feel our players get a lift from that," said 124 Test All Blacks captain Richie McCaw. "The Irish guys then tried to eat up time but I have always felt as a player that can backfire and so it did here."

Crotty's try tied things up at 22-22, with Cruden tasked with attempting the conversion. He missed the first kick, but the Irish players charged too early, so referee Nigel Owens - who contributed greatly to a freeflowing game - allowed Cruden to have another shot, which he duly slotted.

In the history books this will go down as a 27th loss for Ireland against New Zealand, and while they have one draw to look back fondly on, this was an absolute heartbreaker for fans and players.

"This is probably the low point, for me, in my rugby career," Gordon Darcy told "That is one of the toughest games I have ever played in. They are not walking away from that saying that was an easy game.

"We talked a lot about the body language. I'd say over 50% of the game we won the body language battle that was going on. They had the hands on hips. They were blowing out their ass and we were winning those battles. You just have to be a little more clinical maybe," he added.

The fairytale year for the All Blacks ended magically, almost defying belief. They've now won 14 from 14, and having taken an approach that involves blooding young players and rotating their squad regularly, this group looks well placed two years out from the next World Cup.

The Irish deserve massive plaudits though, and Steve Hansen was quick to pay them their dues.

"I'd like to compliment Ireland on a sensational performance, they rattled us and had us 15 points down. They were outstanding," he said. "That wasn't in the script, that is for sure. It [the manner of victory] was special and is a great achievement. It has been a great year."

Extra pages: View Extended Highlights | View the Full Match

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Posted by Rugbydump at 2:25 pm | View Comments (80)

Posted in All Blacks

Viewing 80 comments

FetchingFly November 25, 2013 4:47 pm

more clinical says Darcy? Fecken hell, try not kicking the ball away 3 times in the ast 7 minutes so that the All Blacks can have another bloody go at counter-attacking! Silly schoolboy error that they lost the game to learn - in other words they deserved to lose making a STUPID mistake like that. Plain and simple.

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ArfueJock November 26, 2013 6:24 pm

Having said that, what is difference between Cruden's final kick and this by O'Connor two years ago? Have laws changed?

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Full Back November 26, 2013 11:05 pm

Just as a premise, Barbarian games are generally more fun and lighthearted. As the commentator says he was judged to have moved toward the ball...can't say I agree but technically he's referring to the same law.
A draw is as gutting as a loss in my opinion anyway so, who cares?

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whiteafrican November 27, 2013 9:48 am

In response to the O'Connor incident, I've set out a full response to Irish Guy's copy of the same link below, but in summary:
(a) Romain Poite;
(b) As Full Back rightly points out, the rules are generally more relaxed in Baabaas games (see the Brits/Farrell incident earlier this year); and
(c) In the Cruden case, it clearly doesn't matter because Owens holds out his hand to tell the Irish players not to charge yet and his hand remained outstretched with a flat palm towards the Irish line both before and after the Cruden "shuffle". The Irish players ignored the Ref's instructions and they paid the price. It's their own fault.

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Steve November 25, 2013 4:55 pm

I completely agree the kicking game gave away way too much ball. With the point cushion growing smaller going through the second half, any kicks should have been right into the corner to put pressure on the NZ line out and pin them into the 22. Massively frustrating to watch, chances like this to beat NZ don't come very often. Hope the team can keep this intensity up from now on though

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Cathal November 25, 2013 5:11 pm

Kicking the ball away didnt result in the try, a penalty did. Madigan is the real villan of the piece not making a basic tackle like that at the end, while every other player put their body on the line for the whole 80 minutes, he whimped out

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Full Back November 26, 2013 9:02 am

I agree, too many people going on about Sexton and nobody seems to mention that McGrath went off his feet after Owens gave 3 warnings to our lads to stay on their feet. Less than 50 seconds on the clock!!!
Madigan more than wimping out tried to double up on a tackle rather than hold his man...when the man on the inside is Sean O'Brien that becomes unexplainable!
We lost O'Driscoll, Healy and Sexton, all stalwart defenders and 2 of the 3 replacements contibuted directly to our loss.
The All Blacks on the other hand made 7 changes to the team that beat France coming into the game which should be taken into account. Barrett exploded onto the pitch and Crotty got the winning try, the depth makes all the difference, and over the year, as heartbreaking as it is to have lost this game, I have to admit the ABs deserved their perfect year!

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Hanji November 25, 2013 5:16 pm

Was at the game and absolutely enthralling from start to finish. Heart breaking to come so close again, but glad to see we can still compete with the big guns and Joe Schmidt's type of rugby is starting to take shape in the team. If we carry it into the six nations there could be some serious matches in there.

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MunsterFan November 25, 2013 5:36 pm

So close for Ireland but still the same old shit! Simply not good enough
The very same as the Wales VS Ireland game in 2012.
Not enough ball carriers either

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Irish Guy November 25, 2013 5:38 pm

I'm interested in peoples opinion of Cruden's Kicking style. He steps back, stops, is still for a long time. then does a small shuffle on the spot (This is when the Irish lads ran out twice), then is still again for a few seconds (5) and then starts moving again this time kicking the ball.
Anyway as a bitter Irish man I have a few problems with it the main one being this.

IRB Laws
9.B.2 The kicker’s team
(a) All the kicker’s team, except the placer, must be behind the ball when it is kicked.
(b) Neither the kicker nor a placer must do anything to mislead their opponents into charging too soon.

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paimoe November 25, 2013 6:00 pm

I'd think that the teams would study the opposition kickers, and know their style still. As in "Cruden's playing, remember he does his shuffle, THEN you can run". Same with James O'Connor did a weird shuffle.

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poccio November 25, 2013 6:32 pm

that's true, they could study them. That said I think it's very unfair that he get's to do that shuffle and it doesn't count as starting your movement, why shouldn't it? and the fact that he got 2 attempts at the end made all the difference.

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whiteafrican November 25, 2013 6:46 pm

@poccio - As below, under Law 9.B.3, the question is not whether the kicker has "started his movement" - it's whether he has started his "approach" to the ball. If he's not moving towards the ball, then he's not approaching it.

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oldflyhalf November 25, 2013 7:09 pm

is right whiteafrican! the details, nuances, a comma, make always the difference. ..."approch". :)

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Irish Guy November 25, 2013 8:58 pm

My comeback to the "started his movement" , "approch" etc would be IRB Law 9.B.2.B "Neither the kicker nor a placer must do anything to mislead their opponents into charging too soon".

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whiteafrican November 26, 2013 9:00 am

@Irish Guy - No disrespect intended, but this is really stretching the point. The Laws are clear: defenders can't charge until the kicker begins to approach (i.e. move towards) the ball. Cruden's "shuffle" does not move him towards the ball - he stays positionally static. How could the Irish players be "mislead" into believing that shifting his weight from one foot to the other was moving him towards the ball? It's not like he was doing the moonwalk!

The bottom line is this: seeing the kicker shimmy, shuffle or fart is not enough to justify a charge. Until the defenders see him actually move toward the ball, he hasn't started to approach it, so they can't charge. It is the responsibility of the defenders to make sure they see the kicker start to approach the ball before they charge. If they go before they see that happen, then they take the risk.

Rule 9.B.2(b) is to prevent kickers from doing a stop-start approach where they take a step forward, then pause, then another step, then pause, and thus mislead the defenders. If that was what Cruden had done then I would fully agree that he had breached that Law. But he did not approach the ball, so he did not mislead them.

As others have pointed out, no other international teams (or, to my knowledge, Super XV teams) have ever been mislead by Cruden's action. A better explanation is that the Irish players erroneously believed that the Law was "You can charge once the kicker moves" (which, to be fair, is what several posters on Rugby Dump seem to have mistakenly believed earlier in this thread) in which case they have nobody to blame but themselves.

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whiteafrican November 25, 2013 6:42 pm

If you look at Law 9.B.3, the key word is "approach". No matter how you look at the rest of the action, the "shuffle" clearly does not cause Cruden to "approach" the ball. He stays positionally static.

In this situation, the Irish players are entitled to charge as soon as Cruden begins to approach the ball, but shifting his weight from one foot to the other does not mislead the Irish into thinking that he is approaching the ball, since they can see that he remains static. Only once he actually moves toward the ball can they charge.

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This comment has been removed

Mastersa November 25, 2013 6:42 pm

Shuffling is movement and you can bet Cruden does it for that very reason.
Ping the runners for a free shot.

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whiteafrican November 25, 2013 6:48 pm

@Mastersa - as above, the test is not "movement" but "approach". If the Irish defenders charge before Cruden starts approaching (i.e. moving toward) the ball, then they are in breach of Law 9.B.3(a). If you start your charge before the kicker moves toward the ball, then you take the risk.

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DrG November 25, 2013 10:01 pm

Not that I necessarily agree with either one of the arguments however Irish fellow mentions that the "misleading" the opposition could be an argument..

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whiteafrican November 26, 2013 9:12 am

@DrG - As above, Law 9.B.2(b) (about "misleading" the defenders) is designed to prevent the situation where the kicker takes a stuttering or stop-start run-up (as you sometimes see penalty takers do in football in the hopes of causing the goalkeeper to move early - although in football that seems to be legitimate).

If Law w9.B.3 said something like "you can charge once the kicker lifts his foot off the floor" then I would agree that a shuffle could be misleading. But Law 9.B.3 clearly states that the defenders can only charge once the kicker starts to approach (i.e. move toward) the ball. If the defenders go before they see the kicker move toward the ball then they have not been mislead - they have either misunderstood Law 9.B.3 or chosen to go early.

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Maoriboy123 November 25, 2013 9:46 pm

Aaron is not misleading his opponents ...he has always had that kicking routine...he doesnt move fwd when he does his steps on the spot ...its not like he just started doing it ...he did the same in the 60-0 win in NZ ...if the Irish players hadnt figured out when they could charge him after playing against him before & watching him on TV during the Super XV with the Chiefs or the Rugby Championship then thats their fault not his ...hes been doing the same routine for 4 years!!!
Yes you are bitter ...Ireland only had to hold on to the ball for another 30 seconds or turn the ball over in anyone of the 12 phases it took for the All Blacks to score or Sexton kicking that dead easy penalty???

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Irish Guy November 25, 2013 11:07 pm

If Aaron was not misleading his opponents they would not have charged early twice at the exact time he done his shuffle.
Also nowhere in the rules does it say players must be familiar with the kicking routine of the other team.
In the rules it does say that "Neither the kicker nor a placer must do anything to mislead their opponents into charging too soon".
I would point out in this rule that the word purposefully is not used and also I am not saying this is a tactic to mislead people I am just putting forward the argument that it was obviously misleading to the Irish players.
Finally I want to add I am not bitter. Gutted, sad, disappointed would be better words. The reason I started this comment thread is I thought it was interesting and unusual that the Irish players twice charged early during the game.

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Maoriboy123 November 25, 2013 11:21 pm

Well the French didnt charge him early or the English or the South Africans or the Australians ...maybe the Irish players are a bit slow!!! and it was you who said you were bitter "Anyway as a bitter Irish man I have a few problems with it the main one being this." I was simply agreeing with you!!!
its just his kick routine that is second nature to him ...every kicker has one ...even O'Connell said in the press conference that the Aarons kicking was irrelevant & that they should have not turned over the ball with 30 seconds to go or not missed tackles leading to the try!!!

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whiteafrican November 26, 2013 9:21 am

@Irish Guy - As above, the fact that the Irish defenders charged early twice more likely indicates that they misunderstood Law 9.B.3 (or they knew full well what they were doing and just hoped they could get away with it). In either case, they were not mislead by Cruden. It is not as though Cruden appeared to move toward the ball, or took half a step forward, or somehow made it look like he was approaching the ball - he remained positionally static.

Your point about intent is a good one - it's not clear but I imagine that if he somehow accidentally mislead them (e.g. if he moved forward in the process of leaning down to re-tie his laces) then I imagine that the Ref would just start the process over, subject to the trial 90 second Law...

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Benny November 26, 2013 1:51 pm

I suspect the refs have started cracking down on the early charge in the last couple of years. At the world cup it was getting ridiculous, teams were making an early charge then stopping but enough in some cases to put the kicker off. SA did it to JOC and it worked and almost cost them the QF, I have a feeling Kahui did it in the final too but it didn't work.

Cruden isn't a good enough kicker to include a dummy run in his routine. Anything he does would be to make sure he kicks the goal. If Ireland are misled, unfortunate and i see your point, but it doesn't mean Cruden is doing the misleading

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1moreyear November 25, 2013 11:33 pm

I don't care about the kick. A draw was a loss as far as I was concerned at that stage, but what's the fact that he's being shuffling for 4 years got to do with anything. If say for a random example a Brilliant Number 7 had been misleading refs at the ruck (cheating) for 12 years and getting away with it, is that the same thing?

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Maoriboy123 November 25, 2013 11:51 pm

My point is hes being the same routine for 4 years so if they don't know what his kicking routine is then they are dumbasses!!! but I have coached in Ireland for 3 years & I know those players watch the Super XV & Rugby Championship/Tri Nations to pick up what the new trends are and new players on the seen or just to marvel attacking rugby ....again I know because I watched with them & listened to them...and as for you snipe & Richie ...we & he has heard it all before ...Ireland would kill for a player like him ...World Cup winning captain ...twice IRB player of the year & 110 test wins!! hear that??? over 100 test wins!!! he is one of the grestest players to play the game!!! #fact

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1moreyear November 26, 2013 12:25 am

Can you shout a little louder, it's a long way. No need for name calling , I did say my imaginary random example was a Brilliant No.7. We agree on that, I'm glad. All is well in the world. Thanks for giving us your C.V. , .. We'll Let you know.

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Maoriboy123 November 26, 2013 3:29 am

Yeah what ever mate called him a cheat ...hopefully this isnt a one off for this Irish team because Joe is a amazing coach & if they listen to him they will kick ass at the next 6 Nations ...time will tell ...

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whiteafrican November 26, 2013 9:28 am

@1moreyear - to your original question, I think the point being made is that if nobody else has been "mislead" by Cruden's action over the course of 4 years, then why is it reasonable to believe that the Irish were mislead? As far as I can see, there is no justification for that belief.

The Irish defenders either knew or ought to have known that they are not allowed to charge until the kicker starts to approach the ball. Cruden's "shuffle" does not cause him to approach the ball and does not misleadingly appear to do so. Consequently, there is no breach of Law 9.B.2(b).

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Irish Guy November 26, 2013 10:54 am

@Maoriboy123 is a lost cause with all his weasel words. He think every comment anyone makes about the kicks are an insult to New Zealand not a few rugby fans having a chat about a minor rule that came to light at the weekend.
The opinion I have come to from the comments is that the rules as written are a bit too vague. I think they need to add words like "knowingly" or "purposefully" to the mislead clause or something like "would mislead a reasonable opponent". Also the whole approach thing I am not convinced by this is again to vague, maybe the ref should give a signal that releases the goal line charge. ie. he/she raises their hand to signal they now think the kick has started as it is them who will decide in the end anyway.

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whiteafrican November 26, 2013 4:34 pm

@Irish Guy - I think you know you're clutching at straws here. Law 9.B.3(a) boils down to: "Don't cross your own try line before the kicker approaches the ball". How much clearer can it get?

As to the "misleading" point: a "reasonable opponent" obviously would not be mislead into believing that the kicker has approached the ball if he can see that the kicker has not approached the ball. If the kicker remains positionally static, then the reasonable opponent has no grounds for crossing his own try line. So the proposed wording would add nothing to the meaning of the existing meaning of Law 9.B.2(b).

Also, how is the word "approach" vague? It means "move toward". If the kicker has not moved toward the ball then he has not started to approach it, and the opponents cannot charge yet. Again, this is totally clear in the existing Laws.

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oldflyhalf November 26, 2013 7:09 pm

Jaco Peyper, absolut stupid, or he made show. the barbarians show ! :)

9.B.3 The opposing team
"All players of the opposing team must retire to their goal line and must not overstep that line until the kicker begins the approach to kick or starts to kick. When the kicker does this, they may charge or jump to prevent a goal but must not be physically supported by other players in these actions.
When the ball falls over after the kicker began the approach to kick, the opponents may continue to charge.
A defending team must not shout during a kick at goal."

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whiteafrican November 27, 2013 9:36 am

@Irish Guy -- Good find. My response would be:

(a) Romain Poite. Romain Poite. Romain Poite. Romain Poite. Romain Poite. Romain Poite. Romain Poite. Romain Poite. Romain Poite. Romain Poite. Also, did I mention that it was Romain Poite? I'll let Nick Mallet take it from here:

(b) On a more serious note, Baabaas games are reffed more leniently because of "the nature of the game". e.g. from the last Lions tour, see the Ref's comments at 7 mins about Schalk Brits here:
So citing a Baabaas game as an example of the proper application of the finer points of the Laws is a pretty weak argument.

(c) In this particular case, it didn't matter - you can clearly see in the replay that Owens has his arm out towards the Irish line with a flat palm, telling the Irish defenders not to charge yet:
In this video of the match, at 51:02 and again at 51:07, he makes this gesture towards the Irish players. He makes the same gesture again at 51:17. At 51:22 Cruden does his "shuffle". Owens' arm is still outstretched with a flat palm when the Irish players charge at 51:23. At 51:26 he waves them back, clearly telling them they had charged too early. At 51:27, Cruden kicks the ball.

Ironically, that's exactly what you asked for in your post of November 26, 2013 10:54 am (above) - a signal from the Ref. Even if the Irish players thought the "shuffle" constituted "approaching" the ball, the Ref obviously disagreed and they knew he disagreed because they could see his outstretched hand. Choosing to ignore the clear instructions of the Ref is nothing but foolishness.

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TotesMcGoates November 28, 2013 2:31 am

Yep, that's one...

I think we'll agree to disagree on the effectiveness of "putting off the kicker".

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TotesMcGoates November 26, 2013 9:55 pm

As interesting as this debate is; how often do you actually see a conversion charged down? Moot point.

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DrG November 27, 2013 12:17 pm

@totes: "As interesting as this debate is; how often do you actually see a conversion charged down? Moot point."

Stringer O'Conner, and most of the time it's to put off the kicker, not actually charge it down...

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Murina November 25, 2013 5:42 pm

I politely disagree with Cathal. Madigan made a crucial error but Ireland managed to string together a series of errors to gift this game to the ABs. The missed penalty which would have sunk the game was the start, then the high tackle, the breaking of the defensive line (panic tackling), the panic kicking and even the first charge against the Cruden conversion attempt. Real and palpable panic ran through the team and the ABs sniffed it. All credit to them for taking advantage, but that final score didn't come from a piece of rugby genius (as we have often seen from the ABs this season) but just a confidence that the Irish were cracking - finally - after 80 mins of never even hinting at losing focus and determination. That was what was so frustrating (as a non-Irishman). How do you teach that? How you train for those last 60 seconds?

There is NO comfort or solace to be found in sentences like "it was a hard game" or "we showed we could play the best" or "Ireland played the games of their lives". They already know that (on their day!) they can compete against the biggest, but when it came to 'their day' they choked. You can't teach that, and they need to break that mindset before reaching the next level. England did it using the tour down under before the WC to beat the ABs and Oz knowing that without doing so they weren't going to go to Oz and win the cup. This was Ireland's chance. When's the next one going to be?

Can't finish without congratulating the ABs though. Great year. Great team. Bastards.....

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MCD November 25, 2013 7:21 pm

I have to agree with you dude, New Zealand are clinical and know that they will win a game from anywhere. The same goes for their rugby league team after a fantastic display by the English League team and an even more impressive display by Ireland against the AB's. Its the way teams handle pressure and the Kiwis are so good at it, they absorb and absorb and as soon as you give them half a chance they take it. True Champions and it hurts me to say that I am a Bok fan.


Well play English league team and well played Ireland. You have to be more than on top of your game to beat them.

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katman November 25, 2013 6:16 pm

As Will Greenwood said: It's like the 3 yard putt - no one misses twice.

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TapperJones Top Comment | November 25, 2013 6:41 pm

This was truly an incredible game. Not quite the champagne rugby of NZ vs SA the other month but I found it more exciting to watch. The Irish crowd were fantastic.

I also think Nigel Owens is undoubtedly the best referee in world rugby. Some criticise him for letting "anything go" at the breakdown, but I think he has empathy for the game and gives attacking teams the advantage. This is how rugby should be; a fluid running game spliced with cohesive set pieces and mini-battles at the breakdowns.

In the end, I didn't want either team to lose. NZ did have the record to go for, and it would have been a shame for them not to have made history - but for me Ireland just put in a superb performance and 'deserved' to win, if there is a such a thing in rugby. The forwards were outstanding and reminded me of their RWC 2011 mauling of Australia.

However, they can only blame themselves for the loss. Toner gave away a silly penalty (his only real error), Sexton missed a kick he should have made, and they slipped a few tackles when it mattered most. Ireland gave New Zealand a glimmer of hope and they took it gladly on the 82nd minute. Heartbreaking for the Irish but absolutely masterful by the men in black, their phase play is phenomenal. It was the most exciting finish I've seen in a rugby match since Shane Williams won it for Wales against Scotland in the 2010 6 Nations. (O'Gara's drop goal against Northampton was as good as it gets club rugby-wise)

Anyway, credit to both teams, the crowd and the ref.

Fuck, I love rugby.

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Rugbydump November 25, 2013 9:06 pm

That last line needs to go on a T-shirt.

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kadova November 28, 2013 1:25 am

I would buy a t-shirt with that !

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1moreyear November 25, 2013 6:50 pm

RugbyDump is slightly incorrect here , "With the win the All Blacks cement the record of the first ever top tier Test side in the professional era to go a calendar year unbeaten. " Ireland did it in 2009 . Grand Slam and we beat SA and we drew with AUS. Scant consolation , but incorrect nonetheless.

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Rugbydump November 25, 2013 9:28 pm

Correct, it was badly worded before.

On a side note, they scored 51 tries in those 14 matches, averaging 3.6 a match, and never scored less than two per game. Ben Smith scored 11 of them, followed by Julian Savea (7) and number eight Kieran Read (6).

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1moreyear November 25, 2013 11:37 pm

Impressive stats. In fairness, Those New Zealanders are actually a pretty decent side. They surprised a few people yesterday with that performance.

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Maoriboy123 November 25, 2013 10:09 pm

Thats unbeaten as in beat everyone they played!!! dreamer...I would love to see Ireland beat France 4 times, SA twice, Australia 3 times @ home and away then England away all in one calendar year!!!

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1moreyear November 25, 2013 11:41 pm

Yeah, I think I may have heard it mentioned that they best everyone. I think it's bleedin' obvious what I meant. It was worded incorrectly. I would like to see the All Blacks beat Kilkenny in hurling 3 times .

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1moreyear November 25, 2013 11:43 pm

Don't be putting yourself down all the time, 123. :)

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1moreyear November 25, 2013 11:59 pm

I don't think you've much of a chance in the Humility World Cup this year....... :P

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1moreyear November 25, 2013 6:54 pm

P.s . Madigan wasn't the only player to miss a tackle in that final sweeping 65 M try. Murray missed one too.

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UpTheLowEnd November 25, 2013 7:59 pm

Equally though, they wouldn't have even sniffed a win if it weren't for Murray's contribution, Madigan was a fresh pair of legs whilst Murray was running on empty after a storming performance.

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1moreyear November 25, 2013 8:10 pm

UptheEnd , everybody played out of their skins , not just Murray. My point is that it' s Churlish to single out Madigan when there was other missed tackles in that move. Tired legs or not , a fresh -legged missed tackle is the same as a tired legged missed tackle.

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Full Back November 26, 2013 9:11 am

the difference is that Madigans was a poor choice, he wasn't stepped or fended. O'Brien mentioned the need to trust, he was the inside man, I think he might have been referring to that!

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Mastersa November 25, 2013 7:03 pm

This was the best day at the Aviva stadium that I have ever had despite the result.
The fans turned ferile after 4 minutes and like myself hoarse after 5 minutes. Owens was letting a bit go on both sides to the betterment of the game and Irish ould boys in particular rolled back the years to give probably one of their finest performances for themselves and BODs last chance saloon. Not to be but not for the want of effort. We have lost to far worse All Black teams than this one which in my opinion is about the most balanced, professional and clinical there has ever been.

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1moreyear November 25, 2013 7:11 pm

As for the 'Crude Shuffle' . It made no difference to me. A Draw was a loss when you're 19 ahead. If it was the reverse, NZ 19-0 IRL after 20 mins and we came back , that would be almost a victory! The thrill was gone at 22-22.

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Mike Clarke November 25, 2013 7:19 pm

What a game. Nigel is the best ref out there, but horrible call in the last minute of the game, calling a penalty on McGrath at the ruck. The 2 rucks before that, the all blacks were grabbing the ball off their feet.
That's twice in two years he has made a bad call against Ireland in the last few minutes denying them a win vs the boys in black.

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Full Back November 26, 2013 9:14 am

Sorry Mike, in the 2 rucks before that Owens was shouting at our lads to stay on their feet not the All blacks, if you come through the middle you can have a dive at the 9 once the ball is out. When he blew for the penalty it was the 3rd in a row....there's only so much you can let go to be fair!

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Kiwireddevil November 25, 2013 7:51 pm

The 97 ABs were also unbeaten, finished the year with a 26-all draw at twickenham.

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1moreyear November 25, 2013 9:01 pm

Now THAT was a game and a half, Kiwi! They showed it on Sky 2 weeks ago . David Rees try was brilliant. Cullen brilliant. Both sides brilliant brilliant.

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Reality November 25, 2013 11:52 pm

Really reminds me of what the ring announcer says at the end of Rocky II. "Tonight, we have had the privilege of witnessing the greatest exhibition of guts and stamina in the history of the ring!"

Unfortunately though there was no fairytale finish for Ireland. Wonderful, wonderful match though. Even better than the one this summer when Carter got a drop goal in the last play to win it. Matches like that are why I watch rugby.

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Rugbyluv November 26, 2013 12:20 am

The All Blacks are so hard to beat .Even if you do beat them it is rarely by more than a few points . They were amazing to come back from the jaws of defeat .Well done the kiwi's .Relentless and stubborn.

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KingDong November 26, 2013 1:46 am

We lost it on poor decision making at the end. Just before NZ scored we had a knock on advantage, if we had knocked on ourselves we could have eaten the clock with a scrum that we would have put in to. Plus, on the last score, for some reason we thought backing off was the way to go instead of just giving away rolling penalties and making NZ tap and go. We froze up, simple as.

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Schultz November 26, 2013 10:27 am

Great game, props to Ireland for their opening.
However, I can't help but feel that the AB's have looked flat for all the AI games, that also goes for SA. It seems that they are just not as fired up as they are for the Rugby Championship.
Dagg had a pretty ordinary game, I thought that it was really immpressive how much the AB attack improved when Barrett came on. While Cruden is excellent, I somehow feel that it will be Barrett that succeeds Carter when he retires.

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breakaway November 26, 2013 1:36 pm

I've followed the All Blacks all my life but this game made the ancestral Irish blood from both sides of my family stir in the veins. I was glad the ABs won but I could've handled this loss OK, if that's the way it had turned out. The best I've seen Ireland play and although they didn't score the points when it mattered, they somehow didn't deserve to come second either.
Looking at the last AB attack, it seems as if they put everything they had learned in the previous 80 minutes to full use. Smith had been clobbered behind the ruck a couple of times so he just grabbed the ball as soon as he arrived at the breakdown and went with his first decision. Nonu had dropped passes and fallen over, but he was not going to drop another ball, Cruden was not going to pop another kick over the top. The breakdown, as always, had been reffed unpredictably so they didn't risk anything and got out of the way asap. And with all that control they trusted their skills so that when the final break was needed, the riskier long pass came and it stuck, with the hooker, who drew the tackle and passed.. if he'd passed too soon Crotty was covered and would probably not have made it.
Also, Reid's lone chase down on the third Irish try resulted in a missed conversion from an angle. You just never know when that extra effort is going to pay off.
A great game.

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Mastersa November 27, 2013 2:12 pm

I felt the Irish back row outplayed the AB's for most of the game. But its exactly like you say. The extra effort is something Reid specialises in.
I wonder if anyone knows the tackle count for O'Brien and Reid.

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breakaway November 28, 2013 5:59 am

Let me correct it for both of us, of course it's Read. I see that Heaslip (21) and O'Brien (19) topped the tackle count. I don't know Read's stat.

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AndreJ November 29, 2013 4:18 am

Ireland proved " That Mighty All Blacks, where indeed Mortal All Blacks."

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flanker2712 November 26, 2013 5:26 pm

Is Cruden's shuffle any different to O'Connor's raised arm?

View Video

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oldflyhalf November 26, 2013 6:53 pm

Jaco Peyper, absolut stupid, or he made show. the barbarians show ! :)

9.B.3 The opposing team
"All players of the opposing team must retire to their goal line and must not overstep that line until the kicker begins the approach to kick or starts to kick. When the kicker does this, they may charge or jump to prevent a goal but must not be physically supported by other players in these actions.
When the ball falls over after the kicker began the approach to kick, the opponents may continue to charge.
A defending team must not shout during a kick at goal."

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whiteafrican November 27, 2013 9:51 am

@flaner2712 - In response to the O'Connor incident, I've set out a full response to Irish Guy's copy of the same link above, but in summary:
(a) Romain Poite;
(b) The rules are generally more relaxed in Baabaas games (see the Brits/Farrell incident earlier this year); and
(c) In the Cruden case, it clearly doesn't matter because the Ref holds out his hand to tell the Irish players not to charge yet and his hand remained outstretched with a flat palm towards the Irish line both before and after the "shuffle". The Irish players ignored the Ref's instructions and they paid the price. It's their own fault.

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flanker2712 November 27, 2013 12:49 pm

All valid arguments whiteafrican, and I have to say I agree with you 100%. I hadn't seen the same link posted above though.

Adding to your last point, although it is not clear as he is out of shot at the time, I think Nigel Owens must do a similar thing during Cruden's conversion of the Franks try (about 7:10 onwards in the extended highlights). As Luke Fitzgerald (I think) gets closer to Cruden, he almost stops and then can be seen holding his arms out in a "what was wrong with that?" gesture which is presumably aimed at the referee. It's difficult to hear whether there is any conversation between Owens and the Irish players immediately after, but I would imagine something was said. I suppose in the desperation of the situation, logic and reason went out the window, and the Irish chargers forgot about or ignored the previous incident.

In any event, as Joe Schmidt and others have said, a draw would have felt like a loss, so for most of us Irish I don't think it mattered a dot!

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Andrew November 28, 2013 10:14 am

Ireland play probably the best game they've ever played, score the first 19 points with ease, dominate the All Blacks in every department for the majority of the game... but still managed to lose. WTF???!!!!!

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ConnachtMan November 28, 2013 2:22 pm

absolutely gutted...

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AndreJ November 29, 2013 4:12 am

The Mortal All Blacks~

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Henri November 29, 2013 10:39 am

I watched the game on Youtube and sitting at 79:30 I could not see how Ireland can possibly lose the game?! That's a classic example of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Nige did okay but there are a few questionable calls towards the end. All down to interpretation I guess. But what an awesome game. Worthwhile read:

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DanielSmallNZ February 10, 2014 8:46 am

Hey boys, stop whining about the technicalities and who was at fault, Ireland played a fu*#en good game, and had kiwis in the pub sh*t scared holding on to our TAB tickets, wondering how were going to buy food this week if they Irish bet us.... Ireland have surprised the rugby union and played a fu*%n good game wonder whats in store for Ireland THIS year.

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