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05th Nov 2016

The dream is real as sensational Ireland destroy All Blacks

111 years. Worth the wait.

Patrick McCarry


History was made by a magnificent Ireland team at Soldier Field, Chicago.

Ireland ran in FIVE tries against the world champions to end 111 years of hurt and win for the first time in 29 encounters with the rugby giants.

Take a breath.

We did it!!

We dared not believe Ireland would toy with our emotions again after a sensational start. Would it be 2013 all over again or could we keep the pace?

Johnny Sexton kicked Ireland 3-0 ahead but that lead was wiped out 90 seconds later when George Moala took advantage of a skittering ball to dive over. Beauden Barrett missed his conversion but the Kiwis had answered right back.

Then came a moment of true controversy as Robbie Henshaw was speared into the pitch by Joe Moody. The prop escaped with a yellow card and he was lucky to see just that.

Ireland took full advantage of the extra man when they mauled the Kiwis to smithereens. Jordi Murphy was the man to crash over and Ireland had made a huge statement.

They were far from finished.

Rob Kearney made a stunning line break and CJ Stander backed himself to bull in against Jerome Kaino. It took two heaves but the blindside would not be denied.

Better was to follow when, after a Barrett penalty tagged three points back, Conor Murray sold Aaron Smith an outrageous dummy and outpaced the All Blacks No.10 to the tryline. Sexton got up from receiving treatment and slotted over the conversion to make it 25-8.

Tadhg Furlong, Jared Payne and Rory Best stepped up with huge tackles as Ireland closed out a quite remarkable half. The only blip had been Murphy getting stretchered off after 25 minutes, to be replaced by Josh van der Flier.

Ireland needed to score first to give them space on the scorecard and they did just that after soaking up some big Kiwi pressure. Ireland forced a turnover, kicked a penalty into their opponents’ 22, drew in numbers after a couple of phases and Sexton found Simon Zebo to score.

But New Zealand backed themselves to outlast their foe.

TJ Perenara, on for Smith, danced through green jerseys to score and Ben Smith got a wonder-try in the corner and the video replay went in his favour.

Sexton was down getting treatment for hamstring as Ireland were awarded a penalty in front of the posts. Murray put his hand up. No bother. 33-22.

Still, the All Blacks were charging hard as the benches emptied. Scott Barrett barged through a gap and took advantage of a Kearney slip to twist and touch down. His brother Beauden got the extras and it was 33-29 with a little over 10 minutes to play.

Andrew Trimble and Zebo stepped up with huge plays and one kick-chase won Ireland a 5-metre scrum. Jamie Heaslip took it, switched a pass to Robbie Henshaw and victory was sealed.


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