4 minutes: NZL 0 URE 7
An incredible start for Ireland as Andrew Porter scores a try, which Johnny Sexton duly converts. Just what the doctor ordered after last week’s performance.
1 minute: NZL 0 IRE 0
Ireland burst deep into All Blacks territory and carried the ball three meters from New Zealand’s try line.
They were out
Beauden Barret’s deep kick from the restart gets us going.
The hymns are now being played and sung loudly. Next will be the Haka and then we’ll go.
New Zealand take to the pitch to cheers from the crowd.
here comes ireland
Johnny Sexton leads his team to a packed Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.
it’s almost time
A Maori cultural group performs as kick-off approaches.
the crowd is ready
The atmosphere is effervescent and the fans are ready for this game to begin.
Elsewhere, Japan is beating France
While we wait for this game to start, it’s worth taking a look at Tokyo, where Japan took a 15-7 halftime lead. The French team may be missing some of their biggest names, but this could still come as a big surprise.
A reminder of the All Blacks line-up today
New Zealand line up with a team similar to the one that won so convincingly last week, with only one change. That change looks like Dalton Papalii comes in for Samuel Whitelock.
Sexton fit and ready to lead Ireland
Johnny Sexton has insisted he is fine” and prepared to face New Zealand after getting through concussion protocols “with flying colors”.
The veteran fly-half, who turns 37 on Monday, will captain Ireland in the second test at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin despite leaving the field in the first half of last weekend’s series opener.
Following a collision with Sam Cane, Sexton failed his first head injury evaluation, known as HIA1, and did not return to the field.
Ireland had caused problems before, scoring a try through Keith Earls, but New Zealand pulled away with a flurry of counterattack attempts and eventually won 42-19.
Having passed two subsequent HIAs, one of the days after the first Test, which is enough to rule out a concussion under current regulations, Sexton has remained in the starting eleven. He explained the situation on Thursday.
“You go off for an HIA and you don’t come back, everyone assumes it’s a concussion, but it’s not,” he said.
“It’s just, if there’s a suspect [concussion] or if there is any doubt about the player. And obviously the independent doctor felt for some reason, my reaction to the hit or if it was one or two little things in the test, but anyway, that’s history now.
“I went to tryouts expecting to come back and they wouldn’t let me, which is fair enough, that’s what it’s there for. It’s there to protect players if a concussion is suspected, to stay away, and that’s what happened with the independent doctor.
“As frustrating as it was for me at the time, it’s just life. Yeah go ahead I did all the tests and obviously it passed all of them with flying colors. I look forward to this week.”
Although the incident prompted Progressive Rugby, the concussion campaign group, to criticize the HIA process, Sexton praised Ireland’s “great medical staff”.
To keep the series alive, the Tourists must achieve a first away win over the All Blacks. Their captain, who has beaten New Zealand three times with Ireland and once more with the British and Irish Lions in 2017, believes his side made promising runs at Eden Park and is capable of forcing a decider in Wellington on 16 July.
“If you can win the second Test, the momentum always turns to you and you feel like you have the upper hand,” Sexton said.
“But we haven’t really talked about the series. It’s really about getting back on the horse and making sure we do our best.
“We were happy with some of the stuff we did last week, but it’s pretty ruthless, right? We found out the hard way last Saturday.”