Despite tries from Brian O’Driscoll and Andrew Trimble and some heroic defence, Ireland fell just short of a first win over New Zealand at the Waikato Stadium on Saturday.
…Ireland hooker Jerry Flannery reaches for the ball at the Waikato Stadium…
2006 SUMMER TOUR: FIRST TEST: Saturday, June 10
NEW ZEALAND 34 IRELAND 23, Waikato Stadium (Att: 30,000)
Scorers: New Zealand: Tries: Doug Howlett, Mils Muliaina, Troy Flavell; Cons: Luke McAlister 2; Pens: McAlister 5
Ireland: Tries: Brian O’Driscoll, Andrew Trimble; Cons: Ronan O’Gara 2; Pens: O’Gara 3
Full-Time – New Zealand 34 Ireland 23. Plenty of talking points. Frustration is the overriding emotion. The effort and will to win was there, the defence and lineout excellent but the sheer clinicism of the All Blacks to put 19 points on the Irish in the final 23 minutes was key. Auckland’s Eden Park awaits next Saturday – can the Irish bounce back? Join us then on IrishRugby.ie for live updates from the second Test.
80 mins – Jerry Flannery is sent to the sin-bin as he puts a late shoulder charge tackle on Mils Muliaina after the New Zealand full-back put in a clearance kick on his 22. Ireland end the game with 14 men but show heart with Brian O’Driscoll and Shane Horgan leading a 50-metre charge from their own line.
77 mins – New Zealand penalty! Luke McAlister bangs over a right-sided penalty to heap more misery on a brave Irish side who have battled to the finish, only a knock on or two prevented the visitors for getting a real chance to hit back. There was a crucial moment when Luke McAlister took a pass from Paul O’Connell with support runners piling through for what looked like a certain Irish try. Certainly there’s pride in the performance but like the first Tests in 1992 and 2002, this is one that got away. New Zealand 34 Ireland 23.
73 mins – New Zealand try! It’s disaster for Ireland as replacement lock Troy Flavell marks his international return with a try under the posts. Ma’a Nonu made full use of a fortunate bounce to charge in behind the Irish cover and offload for Flavell to dart in. Luke McAlister adds the easy conversion. Mick O’Driscoll and Girvan Dempsey are brought on by Ireland. New Zealand 31 Ireland 23.
71 mins – New Zealand penalty! The penalty count is rising for Ireland – Luke McAlister arcs over another penalty – his third in 13 minutes – to see the All Blacks take the lead for the first time since the ninth-minute. New Zealand 24 Ireland 23.
65 mins – With Rodney So’oialo offside, Ronan O’Gara has a shot at the posts from just outside the ten-metre line but his kick drifts away to the left of the posts. Ireland still with a 23-21 lead heading into the final quarter hour.
61 mins – Keith Gleeson comes on to replace David Wallace.
60 mins – New Zealand penalty! David Wallace is ruled to not have rolled away in the tackle and Luke McAlister boots a penalty over from distance. The All Blacks are ominously within two. New Zealand 21 Ireland 23.
58 mins – New Zealand penalty! Luke McAlister kicks a right-sided penalty over to reduce the gap to five. New Zealand 18 Ireland 23.
50 mins – Ireland try! Ireland roar right back with a try for winger Andrew Trimble – a good phase of pressure almost saw Paul O’Connell get in but the All Blacks defence held firm. However, numbers out on the left wing saw O’Gara put Trimble over and the Ulster man did well to round in closer to the posts. Ronan O’Gara slots the conversion. It’s Trimble fourth try in seven Test matches. New Zealand 15 Ireland 23.
45 mins – New Zealand try! A lovely move from the All Blacks backline pays off as McAlister, Rokocoko, Nonu and Mauger put ball through hands to send full-back Mils Muliaina in for a try in the right corner through the challenges of Geordan Murphy and Andrew Trimble. Although Mauger’s pass to Muliaina looked decidedly forward. Luke McAlister converts. New Zealand 15 Ireland 16.
Second Half – Kick-Off – Denis Leamy does well to take Luke McAlister’s restart kick on the bounce.
…Flanker Neil Best tackles Byron Kelleher during the first half…
Half-Time – New Zealand 8 Ireland 16. Could a shock result be on the cards?
40+6 mins – Ireland penalty! Ronan O’Gara kicks his third successful penalty – All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw was whistled up for not rolling away in the tackle – and the Munster out-half duly dispatches the kick from 35 metres out as Ireland end the half on the up. New Zealand 8 Ireland 16.
36 mins – The injured Byron Kelleher comes on with Jimmy Cowan replacing him at scrum half.
34 mins – Ireland penalty! Ronan O’Gara drives a 30-metre shot through the posts after All Blacks debutant Clarke Dermody was whistled up for a scrum offence. New Zealand 8 Ireland 13.
28 mins – Off a lineout move, Ronan O’Gara breaks into the New Zealand 22 but his pass for Brian O’Driscoll is just too high.
25 mins – New Zealand penalty! Luke McAlister lands a 35-metre penalty after Neil Best was adjudged to have come in at the side of a ruck. New Zealand 8 Ireland 10.
21 mins – Paul O’Connell steals a good lineout as Keven Mealamu fails to find his intended target.
18 mins – Good scrambled defence sees Ireland keep the hosts at bay – Joe Rokocoko is pinged for holding onto the ball on the deck.
12 mins – Ireland penalty! A head-high tackle from Luke McAlister allows Ronan O’Gara to boot Ireland five clear. New Zealand 5 Ireland 10.
9 mins – Ireland try! It’s game on as Ireland’s first meaningful attack sees captain Brian O’Driscoll get in for a try – his 28th Test effort. Denis Leamy took in a lineout and from a training ground move, Gordon D’Arcy found his centre partner, with Andrew Trimble going on a decoy run, to step inside a gap between Ma’a Nonu and Joe Rokocoko and ghost over behind the posts. Ronan O’Gara adds the extras. New Zealand 5 Ireland 7.
8 mins – Searching for a good touchfinder, Luke McAlister overcooks his kick and Ireland get their first good field position.
7 mins – Ronan O’Gara is penalised at a ruck and Luke McAlister has a shot at the posts but his kick from 30 metres out on the left side tails away to the right of the posts.
1 minute – New Zealand try! A shockingly bad start for Ireland as Doug Howlett nips in at the right corner under the tackle of Andrew Trimble to score after only 41 seconds. Full-back Mils Muliaina created the try with a lengthy break through the Irish midfield and Aaron Mauger took it on before releasing winger Howlett. Luke McAlister curls the conversion in from the right side but it drifts away to the left. New Zealand 5 Ireland 0.
Kick-Off – Ronan O’Gara kicks off with hooker Keven Mealamu receiving for the All Blacks.
Pre Match – It’s a cold night in Hamilton with temperatures touching six degrees. Ireland are in town and are hoping to beat the All Blacks for the first since in their history – do they stand a chance? Well, undoubtedly the first Test will be their best opportunity on this tour. November’s 45-7 hammering is still fresh in their minds and there would be nothing sweeter than winning at the Waikato – the former home ground of Irish replacement scrum half Isaac Boss.
Graham Henry’s All Blacks are yet to play this year and include two debutants in prop Clarke Dermody and Durban-born lock Greg Rawlinson. Openside flanker Richie McCaw is captaining the Kiwis for the first time since Tana Umaga’s retirement earlier in the year. It will be his third time leading his country.
Ireland, captained by Brian O’Driscoll for the 28th time, show two changes to the side that beat England for the Triple Crown in March – injured duo Malcolm O’Kelly and Simon Easterby are replaced by Donncha O’Callaghan and Neil Best at lock and blindside flanker respectively.
Upwards of 30,000 spectators have piled into the ground as the All Blacks contest a Test match for only the fifth time in the North Island city.
Can Ireland catch the hosts cold? Stick with us at IrishRugby.ie to find out.
After a rousing rendition of ‘Ireland’s Call’ by Martin Cleary, who originally hails from Derry, the atmosphere builds with the New Zealand anthem ‘God Defend New Zealand.’ Prop Carl Hayman leads the All Blacks through their traditional Ka Mate haka.
NEW ZEALAND: Mils Muliaina; Doug Howlett, Ma’a Nonu, Aaron Mauger, Joe Rokocoko; Luke McAlister, Byron Kelleher; Clarke Dermody, Keven Mealamu, Carl Hayman, Chris Jack, Greg Rawlinson, Marty Holah, Richie McCaw (capt), Rodney So’oialo.
Replacements used: Jimmy Cowan for Kelleher (36 mins), Jerome Kaino for Holah (46), Troy Flavell for Rawlinson (55), Neemia Tialata for Dermody (72). Not used: Anton Oliver, David Hill, Scott Hamilton.
IRELAND: Geordan Murphy; Shane Horgan, Brian O’Driscoll (capt), Gordon D’Arcy, Andrew Trimble; Ronan O’Gara, Peter Stringer; Marcus Horan, Jerry Flannery, John Hayes, Donncha O’Callaghan, Paul O’Connell, Neil Best, David Wallace, Denis Leamy.
Replacements used: Keith Gleeson for Wallace (61 mins), Mick O’Driscoll for Best, Girvan Dempsey for Murphy (both 73). Not used: Rory Best, Bryan Young, Isaac Boss, Denis Hickie.
Referee: Stuart Dickinson (Australia)
Touch Judges: Matt Goddard, George Ayoub (both Australia)