Ireland topple All Blacks 16-9 at home for first time

Ireland's Cian Healy runs with the ball during the rugby union international between Ireland and the New Zealand All Blacks in Dublin, Ireland, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
New Zealand's Rieko Ioane is pulled down by Ireland's Rob Kearney during the rugby union international match between Ireland and the New Zealand All Blacks at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland, Saturday Nov. 17, 2018. (Niall Carson, PA via AP)
Ireland's Peter O'Mahony runs at New Zealand's Beauden Barrett during the rugby union international between Ireland and the New Zealand All Blacks in Dublin, Ireland, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Ireland's Garry Ringrose is stopped in his tracks as he attacks during the rugby union international between Ireland and the New Zealand All Blacks in Dublin, Ireland, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Ireland's Jacob Stockdale scores a try during the rugby union international match between Ireland and the New Zealand All Blacks at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland, Saturday Nov. 17, 2018. (Niall Carson, PA via AP)
Ireland's Tadhg Furlong is tackled by New Zealand's Sam Whitelock and Aaron Smith, left, during the rugby union international between Ireland and the New Zealand All Blacks in Dublin, Ireland, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

DUBLIN — Ireland beat the All Blacks 16-9 at home for the first time on Saturday and laid a major marker for the Rugby World Cup next year.

The blockbuster matchup of No. 1 and No. 2, the champions of each hemisphere, lived up to the hype. Ireland edged a rugged first half, and in a more open second half produced a classic try and kept New Zealand tryless for the first time since last year's Lions tour.

At a highly charged Lansdowne Road, Ireland became the only team to beat New Zealand twice since the All Blacks won a second straight Rugby World Cup in 2015. The first time was in 2016 in Chicago, Ireland's first win over New Zealand in 111 years.

Even with that mental block gone, this victory was far more impressive: New Zealand was closer to full strength, and far more aware of Ireland's threats.

But it didn't matter.

Even after enduring a hugely physical first half that was exhausting just to watch, Ireland had the wherewithal to perfectly execute a try-scoring move from a lineout on halfway. Flyhalf Jonathan Sexton switched play to Bundee Aki running back to the short side, and wing Jacob Stockdale chipped ahead. The best player of the Six Nations brushed past the surprised All Blacks, regathered and slid in.

Sexton converted from wide out for 16-6 with half an hour to go, and put the pressure right back on the All Blacks.

But the world champions could score just one more penalty.

Knock-ons and spills plagued the All Blacks in front of a fast-rushing defense which squeezed the visitors.

Flanker Peter O'Mahony exemplified Ireland in the middle of the second half when he swiped a grubber kick just in front of All Blacks wing Ben Smith in the Ireland 22, then trapped ruck ball to force a penalty against the All Blacks to thwart another attack. He was then replaced, with 17 minutes to go, and walked off to a standing ovation.

New Zealand was upping the tempo and finding holes on the outside of the Irish defense, but ruining attacks with errors. Beauden Barrett offloaded to Ireland fullback Rob Kearney, and another attack died when a lineout throw-in went to Ireland.

Barrett kicked a penalty and the All Blacks trailed by seven with 11 minutes to go.

Ireland was still far from safe. In the last six weeks, the All Blacks came from 17 behind with 19 minutes to go in Pretoria, and from 15 behind at Twickenham.

With less than two minutes left, the All Blacks finally got out of its half. They worked the ball from deep to the Ireland 22, going through the phases as the clock moved into injury time. Ireland had seen this before, in 2013, when the All Blacks pulled a converted try out of their hat in injury time to win.

But the Irish defense firmed at the 22, and the All Blacks knocked on to end a 16-test unbeaten run in Dublin since 1905.

___

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Must Read

Ajax player Nouri has severe and permanent brain...

Jul 13, 2017

Ajax midfielder Abdelhak Nouri has been diagnosed with severe and permanent brain damage five days...

Austrian official does not expect new contract...

Sep 5, 2017

Austria coach Marcel Koller may be in charge of the national team for the last time against Georgia

Germans Friedrich, Schneider take European...

Dec 16, 2017

Germans Francesco Friedrich, Stephanie Schneider take European bobsled titles in Austria

Italian skier Marsaglia leads World Cup downhill...

Jan 18, 2018

Italian skier Marsaglia leads final training for World Cup downhill on shortened Streif course

Austria to send 105 athletes to Pyeongchang...

Jan 22, 2018

Austria to send 105 athletes to Pyeongchang Olympics; Alpine skier Anna Veith named flagbearer

Search

About Us

From transfer news, tactical analysis to predictions, get only the best of the world of sports daily with Daily Sports Club.

Contact us: sales[at]dailysportsclub.com

Subscribe Now!