Following on from Ireland’s 23-12 victory over New Zealand in their July international, here are our five takeaways from the match in Dunedin on Saturday.
Ireland maintains intensity and precision in historic victory
After last weekend’s frustration, where an excellent start gave way to a mistake-filled final 60 minutes, this was all the better for the tourists. Yes, they continued to be wasteful and didn’t score the points their dominance deserved, but Andy Farrell’s men managed to keep their foot in the throat in the second Test. They kept up the pace that the All Blacks inevitably set on the ball, controlled the gain line, won the aerial battle and kept the hosts under immense pressure throughout. Despite the closed nature of the scoreboard, this was ultimately a hammer blow.
All Blacks pay the price for laxity in Super Rugby arbitration
Frankly, the southern hemisphere doesn’t want to deal properly with foul play and it proved costly for New Zealand in Dunedin as a result. From Leicester Fainga’anuku’s reckless challenge (more on that below) to Angus Ta’avao’s technically poor tackle on Garry Ringrose, his discipline was extremely poor. New Zealanders have been the most outspoken against crackdowns on dangerous challenges, desperately wanting the 20-minute red card to effectively excuse illegal player actions, and that attitude cost them on Saturday. Fortunately for the All Blacks, it was not a World Cup knockout game and they have a chance to change their attitudes ahead of next year’s competition.
All Blacks lucky despite card penalty
While they did receive three cards, it could have been much, much worse for the hosts. On another day, Fainga’anuku would have seen red for his challenge on Mack Hansen and Ireland would have received a penalty trial after Ofa Tuungafasi received a yellow card for pulling Ringrose back with the signaling line. Coincidentally, Tuungafasi and Ta’avao were off the pitch at the same time, which meant uncontested scrums for a brief period. So New Zealand should have briefly been reduced to 12, similar to Italy in the Six Nations, who only had one player sent off but were reduced to 13 due to laws. Jaco Peyper evidently missed the mark and benefited the All Blacks who had enough men on the field to put pressure on the Ireland back line and force a hit.
heroic Irish defense
Ireland put on an excellent all-round performance and more than deserved their victory as they held the lead in most facets of the game, but one thing that should delight Farrell and the rest of his coaching staff is the massive defensive effort from his troops, especially during the latter. stages of this test. Yes, the All Blacks scored a consolation try in the 77th minute when Will Jordan went wide, but before that Samisoni Taukei’aho, Pita Gus Sowakula and Aidan Ross had cracks down the Ireland line before Folau Fakatava and Brodie Retallick were denied by heroic defense of the visitors. That is testament to the excellent fitness levels of the visitors and illustrates that they were physically matching the All Blacks, something few teams have achieved over the years.
All Blacks brainless and one dimensional
Ireland controlled possession and territory well and delivered a structured performance, while their opponents were anything but. There was much desperation on the part of the All Blacks when calm heads were needed under the inevitable pressure that came with them being reduced to 14 men after Ta’avao received marching orders from him. What followed was a very disjointed performance from Ian Foster’s troops, who opted to run the ball from all areas of the pitch, especially in the first half, hoping to clinch the result. Throwing the ball wide in the hope of beating the Irish was never going to work and as a result the visitors completely dominated.
READ MORE: Ireland make history with their first win over the All Blacks in New Zealand
The July Internationals: Five takeaways from New Zealand v Ireland as the tourists score a momentous victory appeared first on Planetrugby.com.