23 May, 12:21
The Irish Rugby Supporters Club is delighted to announce that tickets for the GUINNESS Series 2013 will go on sale on ticketmaster.ie at 10am on Thursday, May 30.
Once New Zealand seized control of proceedings with two Savea tries before half-time moving them 23-3 ahead, Ireland were chasing the game and a third from the promising winger, shortly after the break, effectively sewed up the result.
Fergus McFadden did well to finish off a 51st-minute breakaway try, which Jonathan Sexton converted, to reduce the arrears to 30-10.
Debutants Simon Zebo and Declan Fitzpatrick acquitted themselves well and prop Ronan Loughney made it three new caps for Ireland when he came on midway through the second half.
The disappointment of leaking two more tries to Adam Thomson and Conrad Smith was compounded by the shoulder injury which Cian Healy picked up. It is an added concern for the Irish management with fellow prop Mike Ross having to sit out the first Test with a hamstring strain.
The tourists enjoyed an encouraging start, taking the game to New Zealand with Keith Earls prominent in attack and a solid scrum containing containing Test newcomer Fitzpatrick giving them a steady platform.
Carter and Sexton traded early penalties but Ireland failed to convert pressure into points and two long range kicks from Carter opened up a 9-3 lead.
Ireland were consistently strong at the breakdown, winning some vital turnovers and penalties as Steve Hansen's men tried to find their rhythm. Sean O'Brien and Peter O'Mahony led the way in hunting for turnovers.
But New Zealand showed their class when breaking through for the opening try, 26 minutes in.
Although Conor Murray's kick downfield was initially fumbled by Zac Guildford, they managed to create space on the left with Sonny Bill Williams' one-handed offload putting Carter away and his final pass allowed Savea a clear run-in behind the posts.
Carter's conversion was quickly followed by a midfield surge from the confident Savea, yet Ireland's rucking skills were evident again when O'Mahony got in over the ball and won a relieving penalty.
Lineout possession, an area where first-time starter Dan Tuohy and Donnacha Ryan dovetailed well, led to Zebo slipping into the New Zealand 22 and Ireland soon moved from ruck to ruck, drawing the prospect of a try ever closer.
However, a misplaced pass and a Kiwi turnover sent Ireland hurtling back towards their own try-line and Zebo had to react smartly to take a bouncing ball into touch.
Ireland's defence stood up to the task until Israel Dagg's inch perfect pass opened the way for Savea to crash over in the left corner past last-ditch tackles from Murray and Rob Kearney.
Television match official Matt Goddard confirmed the grounding and Carter's left boot did the rest, leaving Declan Kidney's men 20 points adrift and needing an immediate response on the resumption.
With a couple of passes going to ground, Ireland lacked the accuracy to create a try-scoring opportunity early in the second half, despite some decent territory.
New Zealand countered again from deep, showing their enviable ruthless streak once more as Carter and the increasingly influential Dagg combined to release Savea, the 2010 IRB Young Player of the Year, for his third touchdown of the night.
Carter added the extras with a fine kick from the left. But Ireland showed plenty of resolve, none more so than captain Brian O'Driscoll. New Zealander flanker Victor Vito was left bloodied and had to come off after suffering a clash of heads with O'Driscoll.
The teak-tough centre was soon scrambling back to his try-line to prevent Vito's back row colleague Kieran Read from scoring a certain try.
Before that, Ireland had deservedly broken their try-scoring duck. Rory Best blocked a kick and regained possession on the deck and with New Zealand caught for numbers, Sexton's expertly-weighted kick was put in just the right spot for McFadden to race up and claim it before diving over the line.
The successful conversion from Sexton gave Ireland renewed hope at 30-10, but the All Blacks mercilessly slammed the door shut. Read went close and lock Ryan did the covering when Williams' dinked kick looked destined to be gobbled up by his centre partner Smith.
Ireland were unable to hold out though and from a close-in scrum, Read peeled away off the base, shipped a tackle from O'Mahony and offloaded for replacement Thomson to take his side's try tally to four. Carter's only missed kick of the Test followed.
Both coaches looked to their benches as the high tempo of the first 60 minutes took its toll, with Loughney, Ronan O'Gara, Kevin McLaughlin, Donncha O'Callaghan and Eoin Reddan all entering the fray for Ireland.
McFadden thought he had a second try when he intercepted a pass and sprinted clear but referee Nigel Owens called play back for an offside decision. New Zealand sensed more tries and they did manage to sign off with a fifth.
Not before Healy had to make way for Sean Cronin and Darren Cave got his first taste of action against a top tier nation, joining the tireless O'Driscoll in midfield.
Some more resolute defending kept the Kiwis at bay until the 78th minute when a clever delayed pass from Cruden sent centre Smith coasting over to the right of the posts.
Carter landed the conversion to move himself onto 17 points and he almost added a last-gasp try, Ireland requiring a very good piece of covering from Kearney to keep him out.
The action moves on to Christchurch next week with the men in green determined to put this loss behind them and level the series, ahead of the third and final encounter in Hamilton.
The young players, part of a number of new combinations today, will learn from this experience and come back stronger as Ireland continue their bid for an historic first win over the All Blacks.
|New Zealand Score Card|
|Ireland Score Card|