Limerick Rugby
Don't Miss

After first half mauling the result of today’s game was never in doubt

Rugby World Cup, quarter final:

Ireland 14, New Zealand 46

FOR the seventh time, Ireland have failed to advance from the quarter finals of a Rugby World Cup. There are no excuses, they were well beaten by a supremely better side that played the game as it should be played. New Zealand ran the ball at pace, causing havoc in the Irish defence from the start and their pack pounded the opposition throughout the 80 minutes. In fairness to the Irish they defended bravely and made a mini-revival in the last ten minutes when the All Blacks were already making arrangements for their semi-final clash with England next week-end. It was a sad departure for Joe Schmidt who has raised the profile of this Irish international side considerably since his arrival in Lansdowne Road.

Ireland looked nervous before the start, the body language lacked intensity and it was reflected in the opening 20 minutes when they trailed 17-0. The pressure from their opponents resulted in forced errors and both Garry Ringrose and Rob Henshaw went off for attention in the opening ten minutes. The Irish had no problems at the set piece, their lineout was faultless and the scrum solid but with the New Zealanders awesome at the breakdown and in the mauls, Ireland struggled to get their passing game going. The manner in which they showed they may be able to match the opposition in those phases before the half time hooter was encouraging and if they could get a score on the board early in the second half, there may have been some hope of a revival.

It was nor surprising that it was the All Blacks who got that first score after theĀ  break, Codie Taylor going over and Mo’Unga kicking the extras to extend the lead to 27-0. Ireland just could not put a decent attack together and a brilliant cross kick from Mo’Unga fell into the hands of Sevu Reece and Matt Todd stormed in to push the lead to 34-0 on 60 minutes. The result was now a formality but a Rob Henshaw try, converted by Joey Carbery, gave the big Irish contingent something to cheer about. Ireland attacked again, their fresh replacements making an impact, and were rewarded with a penalty try to bring their tally to 14 but New Zealand finished in style, tries from George Bridge and Jordie Barrett and a conversion from Mo’Unga giving them a well-deserved 46-14 victory.

New Zealand led 22-0 at half time but Ireland could well have clawed seven points back with the clock in the red, referee Owens calling in the TMO to deprive them of a five metre line out that could have yielded a try and conversion. It was the first time in the game that the Irish had got close to the Blacks line and the call was a narrow one by any stretch of the imagination. 22-7 at the break would not have been too bad but there was little doubt that New Zealand were by far the best team in that opening 40 minutes. They opened the scoring on four minutes with a penalty from Richie Mo-Unga and on 13 minutes the All Blacks went through the phases and scrum half Aaron Smith went over, Mo’Unga converting to make it 10-0. A second All Blacks try came on 19 minutes, Aaron Smith looping around after a series of carries by the pack to touch down, Mo’Unga again converting and nine minutes before the break Beauden Barrett availed of a dropped ball inside the Irish half to hack through and win the race for a third touchdown that Mo’Unga this time failed to convert.

The result is certainly a bad blow for Irish rugby. There was genuine optimism amongst the fans and the media coming into the game but overall, this World Cup series is once again disappointing. Defeats to Japan and today to New Zealand and mediocre performances against Russia and Samoa was hardly the stuff of potential World Cup winners and if the win over Scotland was to be our best 80 minutes, we are grasping at straws. Today’s performance was way off what we expected from the squad.

Ireland: Rob Kearney, Keith Earls, Garry Ringrose, Rob Henshaw, Jacob Stockdale, Jonathan Sexton, Conor Murray; Cian Healy, Rory Best (c), Tadhg Furlong, Ian Henderson, James Ryan, Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier, CJ Stander. Replacements: Niall Scannell, Andrew Porter, Dave Kilcoyne, Tadhg Beirne, Rhys Ruddock, Joey Carbery, Chris Farrell, Jordan Larmour.

New Zealand: Beauden Barrett; Sevu Reece, Jack Goodhue, Anton Lienert-Brown, George Bridge; Richie Mo’unga, Aaron Smith; Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Nepo Laulala; Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick; Ardie Savea, Sam Cane, Kieran Read (captain). Replacements: Dane Coles, Ofa Tuungafasi, Angus Ta’avao, Scott Barrett, Matt Todd, TJ Perenara, Sonny Bill Williams, Jordie Barrett.

Referee, Nigel Owens, Wales.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login