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No Joy For Ireland

No Joy For Ireland

A wonderfully committed and courageous Irish performance in Carisbrook ended in what was a very flattering win, 15-6, for the raging hot favourites in front of a near full house. (30,000).

The Irish set their stall out early on and refused to be intimidated by the home side. Brian O’Driscoll gave them a 7th minute three point lead and although Andrew Mehrtens equalised two minutes later Ireland continued to take the game to the home side.

They went behind in the 36th minute when Doug Howlett flew in, after Mehrtens had made a nice blidside break, and the Blacks carried that 10-3 lead into the break.

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With the Irish contingent in the crowd making their presence felt, Ireland threw themselves at the Blacks and it needed the video ref to rule out a Geordan Murphy try. O’Gara made it 10-6 but missed a chance to reduce the deficit further when he was wide from a good position.

The Blacks were just not being allowed settle into any pattern by an Irish side that simply worked it’s socks off. Eddie O’Sullivan sprung David Humphreys from the bench in the 69th minute shortly after Jonah Lomu was brought on for Howlett. The first ball the big man got saw him upended by Gary Longwell and then Peter Stringer brought him to ground but from the re-cycle Aaron Mauger threaded through a ball for full back Leon MacDonald to touch down (15-6) and secure the victory.

Ireland G Dempsey; G Murphy, B O’Driscoll, J Kelly, J Bishop; R O’Gara D Humphreys 69 min), P Stringer; R Corrigan, K Wood capt, J Hayes; G Longwell, P O’Connell (M O’Kelly 61 min); S Easterby, K Gleeson, A Foley.

New Zealand. L McLeod; D Howlett (J Lomu 67 min), T Umaga (D Gibson 57 min), M Mauger, C Ralph; A Mehrtens, J Marshall; D Hewett (J McDonnell 63 min), M Hammett, G Somerville; C Jack, N Maxwell; R Thorne, R McCaw, S Robertson.

Referee: J.Jutge (France).