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New Zealand 21-11 Ireland

Ma'a Nonu scored New Zealand's second try
Nonu's second-half try ended Ireland's hopes of a famous win

New Zealand (8) 21
Tries: Sivivatu, Nonu
Con: Carter
Pen: Carter (3)

Ireland (8) 11
Try: Wallace
Pens: O'Gara (2)

Ireland's hopes of securing their first ever win over New Zealand were dashed as they ran out of steam in Wellington.

With freezing temperatures and heavy rain making conditions difficult, the All Blacks claimed a fine first try through winger Sitiveni Sivivatu.

Paddy Wallace crossed after 20 minutes to put Ireland ahead, and the teams went into the break level at 8-8.

But the momentum swung New Zealand's way in the second half, as Ma Nonu's try took his side comfortably clear.

It was a disappointing end to the match for an Ireland side who went into the game with genuine hopes of ending their 103-year wait for a win over the All Blacks.

New Zealand fielded a new-look side after the disappointment of their World Cup exit and the exodus of numerous players to European clubs.

But the players who took the field at the Westpac Stadium were up to the job as they made a valiant Ireland side pay for some silly errors.

606: DEBATE
Ireland made an inauspicious start, finding themselves turned over in possession in the opening minute of the match, and the visitors were grateful to see Nonu knock on with the tryline beckoning.

But after surviving the onslaught, Ireland claimed the opening score when Ronan O'Gara landed a penalty in the ninth minute.

The All Blacks responded just six minutes later with a well-constructed move from their own half which ended with winger Sivivatu scoring for his 22nd try in 22 Tests.

It started when Andrew Hore turned the ball over following a lost line-out and the ball was spun wide to Conrad Smith, who wrong-footed Brian O'Driscoll, burst through the gap and fired the ball out to Sivivatu.

New Zealand failed to deal with the restart though and after several Irish drives to within sight of the line were repelled, Wallace took advantage of a two-on-one overlap to score out wide.

Dan Carter looked out of sorts in the first half, with his kicking from hand well short of its usual standard, but the fly-half did kick his side level before the break.

Ireland skipper Brian O'Driscoll in action against New Zealand
Brian O'Driscoll does well to take a high ball in the terrible conditions
O'Gara and Carter exchanged further penalties in the opening minutes of the second half as the match hung in the balance.

But a lack of discipline from prop Marcus Horan provided a nervy New Zealand with the perfect chance to edge ahead just before the hour.

With Ireland having just been awarded the put-in at the scrum 30m out from their own line, Horan punched a prone Kiwi player in front of the referee to see the decision changed to a New Zealand penalty.

Carter nailed the kick, and the home side never looked back from that point on.

A beautiful Carter show-and-go beat three Irish defenders and a couple of phases later, John Schwalger's offload found Nonu bursting through to score on 64 minutes.

Carter's third penalty stretched Ireland's deficit to double figures and effectively dashed their hopes of ending their losing streak against New Zealand.

Ireland did their best to find a breakthrough, but the rock solid New Zealand defence refused to buckle.


New Zealand: Muliaina; Tuitavake, Smith, Nonu, Sivivatu; Carter, Ellis; Tialata, Hore, Afoa, Thorn, Williams, So'oialo, McCaw, Kaino.
Replacements: MacDonald for Tuitavake (50), Mealamu for Hore (55), Schwalger for Afoa (41), Thomson for Kaino (75).
Not Used: Boric, Cowan, Donald.

Ireland: Kearney; Horgan, B. O'Driscoll, P. Wallace, Bowe; O'Gara, Reddan; Horan, Flannery, Hayes, O'Connell, O'Callaghan, Leamy, D. Wallace, Heaslip.
Replacements: Stringer for Reddan (72), Buckley for Horan (70), Best for Flannery (50), Jennings for Heaslip (75).
Not Used: M. O'Driscoll, Murphy, Dempsey.

Att: 33,743

Referee: Chris White (England)


see also
Saturday's rugby photos
07 Jun 08 |  Rugby Union
New Zealand v Ireland as it happened
07 Jun 08 |  Rugby Union
Skipper admits Ireland fell short
07 Jun 08 |  Rugby Union


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