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Five key moments as Ireland turned over the All Blacks

Five key moments as Ireland turned over the All Blacks

James Lowe moments Ireland

The celebrations in Dublin went on long into the night as Ireland produced a dominant performance to beat the All Blacks at the Aviva Stadium.

Five years after ending the 111-year wait for a win against New Zealand, and three years on from the first home success, this might have been the best performance of the lot.

From the kick-off, Ireland looked the better side and even against a clinical All Blacks side who scored tries from two of their three chances, they ran out deserved 29-20 winners.

The key for them was that in the biggest moments of the game, Ireland came up huge, with skipper Johnny Sexton only too aware of that fact.

“I said last night that it comes down to big moments and we won some big moments today,” Sexton explained.

So what were the key moments that set up Ireland’s victory?

Taylor sees yellow and Ireland capitalise

Ireland started the game with plenty of attacking ambition and caused New Zealand problems even before their first score. But the first big moment of the game came when Codie Taylor was penalised for a late tackle on Sexton, and then a check with the TMO showed that he had also connected with the head of the Ireland skipper a phase earlier.

Lowe moments

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The All Blacks hooker was sent to the sin-bin, and as has become their custom, Ireland kicked to the corner. The extra man came in useful as Ireland’s forwards hammered away at the line. Once the defence had been sucked in, Ireland turned to their backs and Bundee Aki’s long pass found Hugo Keenan in stride and he carried forward before finding James Lowe to crash over in the corner for a try against the country of his birth.

Kelleher draws Ireland level

It says something about New Zealand that despite being on the back foot for most of the first half, they led 10-5 at the break. That was partly thanks to a Tadhg Furlong try being disallowed for Ronan Kelleher’s double movement in the build-up. A minute later, Kelleher shot up after a lineout while Furlong stayed put and that miscommunication opened up a hole that Dalton Papalii stormed through before putting Taylor in for the try.

Kelleher moments

With all that in mind, the fact that Kelleher got the try that drew Ireland level straight after half-time was rather fitting. New Zealand’s goal-line defence had been so good in the first half, but when Ireland got back into the 22 early in the second period, the dam eventually broke, with Kelleher busting over from close range to make it 10-10 after 44 minutes.

Maiden Test try for Doris puts Ireland in front

The biggest challenge against New Zealand is to keep the pressure on them when you are on top, and that was perhaps the most impressive part of Ireland’s success. They were clearly on the front foot after Kelleher’s try and they were able to turn that into more points on 50 minutes.

Doris moments

Off the top of a lineout the ball was spread to Aki to carry at the heart of the All Blacks defence, drawing in three men to stop him. On the next phase it was Kelleher who did the same, so when Jamison Gibson-Park fed Caelan Doris, the visitors were running out of numbers. He handed off Taylor and a huge hole opened up as he raced home from 25 metres out.

Disallowed Ioane try

In typical All Blacks fashion, they responded with a try from nowhere as Will Jordan chipped over, Rieko Ioane collected and then found his winger for the score on the hour. Joey Carbery made it 23-17 with a penalty but with 13 minutes to go, the All Blacks crossed the whitewash for a third time.

Ioane moments

They had penalty advantage after getting up to the Ireland line and when the ball came out, it seemed like a brotherly combination had done for Ireland, Rieko Ioane putting over older brother Akira. His pass was a fraction forward though and the try was chalked off. Instead New Zealand took the three points to halve Ireland’s lead.

The moment that sealed it

There are some passages of play that will go down in Irish rugby history. In the last few years alone you have Johnny Sexton’s drop goal in Paris, Jacob Stockdale’s try to beat the All Blacks and of course Ryan Crotty’s score that broke Irish hearts back in 2013.

With Ireland leading by three, memories of Crotty will have been fresh in the minds of some, but a trio of players combined for a new moment that will go down in the country’s folklore.

New Zealand finally looked like they might have found a way to undo the Irish defence. Ardie Savea carried off the base of a scrum in his own 22 and slipped out of a double tackle before offloading to David Havili. He stepped another and got close to halfway before passing wide to Rieko Ioane.

With two men outside him and only Lowe for cover, Ireland were short of numbers, but the winger sprinted in and hit Ioane as he received the ball, with Peter O’Mahony the first man in to win the crucial penalty. From a potential try-scoring opportunity, it was Ireland who had the chance of points, and Carbery put in a huge boot to slot the penalty from halfway and make it a six-point lead with eight minutes to go. As it turned out, that proved to be New Zealand’s last chance, Lowe, O’Mahony and Carbery had sealed victory for Ireland.

Carbery moments



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