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16th Jul 2022

Fans were loving the wild Keith Earls reaction to Robbie Henshaw’s try

Patrick McCarry

Keith Earls

The Munster man couldn’t contain himself.

Ireland beat New Zealand 32-22 at Sky Stadium, in Wellington, and claimed a first ever series win over their hosts in the process.

For the second weekend running, Ireland were able to back up their flying start to lead at half-time. However, whereas Ireland only led 10-7 in Dunedin, after spurning some scoring chances, they made their dominance count, in Wellington.

Ireland went 5-0 clear after an early Josh van der Flier try, but the All Blacks tagged them back with a Jordi Barrett penalty. The score was 5-3 to the visitors when a lovely link-up between James Lowe and Hugo Keenan saw the fullback get over in the corner. A Johnny sexton conversion made it 12-3.

At this stage, many cautious Irish supporters would have hoped half-time could just come already. 12-3 would do. Just build on that after the break.

Not this Ireland side. Not this week, anyway.

Another All Blacks error – Josh van der Flier and Andrew Porter forcing a knock-on – gave Ireland an attacking platform, on 36 minutes. Sensing how another Irish score would be crucial, Sexton called over his teammates to run through the set-play.

For Ireland, it worked like a dream. The scrum was solid, Caelan Doris carried hard, Dan Sheehan, Johnny Sexton and Bundee Aki all featured, and Robbie Henshaw did the rest.

Keith Earls gives it socks

Having added a long-range penalty, in the first half, that Johnny Sexton conversion, after Henshaw’s score, made it 22-3.

Over on the sidelines, as Henshaw dived over, Keith Earls just let rip. Having played the All Blacks on plenty of previous occasions, he knows how you have to keep the boot down when you get the chance.

His reaction – almost joining the Irish lads on the pitch – told you what that score meant:

Keith Earls, who scored a try in the First Test, got out onto the pitch in the second half as he replaced Bundee Aki for the closing stages.

Like a few other veterans in the Irish squad, this will be Earls’ final Test match, or series, in New Zealand. He leaves a winner, as Ireland send another message to the Kiwis.

  • Why you should never underestimate Keith Earls.
  • Eddie Jones on Roy Keane’s ‘inspirational’ talk to the England rugby team.
  • How Johnny Sexton sets standards in training.

Watch these videos and more in our player below.

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