IRISH EYES ON MORE SHOCKS
New Zealand Ireland
BY NICK PATTISON IRELAND have an incredible chance to create more rugby history next Saturday.
Their victory over the All Blacks yesterday was their first ever on New Zealand soil, and now they face a decider for the series in Wellington.
Ireland captain Johnny Sexton admitted: “Delighted, as no team has ever done it before.
“Now we have a chance to win a series here... they don’t come along too often.”
Ireland coach Andy Farrell (right) added: “It’s a privilege to be here and witness what we just witnessed with the boys going toe-to-toe and being so courageous from minute one. They come over here and know that there is a piece of history for them in their careers.
“We talk about it to them: ‘Somebody’s going to do it sometime soon and it might as well be you’.
“They keep turning up and breaking their little records and I’m so proud of them. They’ve earned the right for next week to go into a decider.”
Farrell was impressed his team did not lose their focus, especially in the first half when three yellow cards – for New Zealand’s Leicester Fainga’anuku and Ofa Tu’ungafasi and Ireland’s James Ryan – and the dismissal of All Blacks prop Angus Ta’avao made for some chaotic moments.
“We came out of the blocks quick and put them under some pressure and scored some tries,” said Farrell.
“The game wasn’t perfect but we were calm, we didn’t get sucked into the allure of the game.
“Them going down to 14 or 13 men, we kept playing the game that was in front of us.
“We gave a few penalties away and gave them access but we stayed calm and stayed in the fight.”
Prop Andrew Porter scored two tries and skipper Sexton added 13 points from the tee as Ireland squared the series 1-1.
Ireland had played 13 Tests in New Zealand without a win before taking to
the field under the Forsyth Barr Stadium
roof to hand the All Blacks their first home defeat since South Africa won in Wellington in 2018.
New Zealand’s discipline cost them dear and they had to be satisfied with tries close to the end of each half from Beauden Barrett and Will Jordan.
All Blacks captain Sam Cane said:
“They bounced back in a big way. They were too good.”
NEW ZEALAND: Tries: B Barrett, Jordan Con: B Barrett
IRELAND: Tries: Porter 2
Pens: Sexton 3 Con: Sexton 2