New Zealand 42 Ireland 19 - Ireland’s chastening defeat as it happened

Follow along live as Nathan Johns guides you through all the action as Ireland take on the All Blacks at Eden Park

Good morning all and welcome to coverage of the first Test of Ireland’s tour of New Zealand! After a dramatic, Covid-filled build-up, we are finally here. The rugby finally gets underway and we can put all this talk of Joe Schmidt and provocative gambling ads behind us.

My name is Nathan Johns and I’ll be guiding you through the action today. Feel free to get in touch on Twitter (@nathanrjohns) to let us know your thoughts ahead of this one. Kick-off is at 8.05am Irish time so let’s get started.



Ireland have made progress in the last two and a half years, as evidenced by a dozen wins in their previous 13 tests going into this match. But the All Blacks in New Zealand is different gravy, all the more so in Eden Park, and this was a shuddering reality check.


Right then, that’s enough from me. I’m going to sign off, but make sure you stay tuned for Gerry Thornley’s match report as well as player ratings and more reaction from Eden Park.

Nathan Johns (@nathanrjohns) signing off, thanks for reading.


Ultimately that ten minute period just before half-time where three mistakes led to three tries cost Ireland dear. Carbery got 50+ minutes at 10, something he badly needed and while it was a tough outing that will be a positive. Depth is obviously another talking about given the frontrow replacements were not trusted to come on and change the game when the set-piece was struggling. Yes Ireland have been heavily depleted in that area by Covid and injuries but Cian Healy is Andrew Porter’s back-up most weeks and Tom O’Toole is heavily fancied as a long-term option at tighthead.

One man who did have a positive impact off the bench was Jack Conan - his carrying was very impressive. It was a performance he needed given the man who replaced him, Peter O’Mahony, had a decent game in disrupting New Zealand’s ball on the floor though his presence in the lineout did not stop it from being loose on plenty of occasions.



Nearly 200 tackles from New Zealand on the night, a sign of just how good they were defensively. They were particularly impressive in and around their own goal-line, Rieko Ioane saved two tries in as many minutes by knocking the ball loose - though his first effort on Joey Carbery was the definition of a seatbelt tackle but Dickson did not penalise him - plus multiple Ireland carriers were held up over the line. No issues breaking down this All Blacks side, but the inability to convert inside the 22 is a major concern.


Wow. That was as bad as it could have been really on the scoreboard, but were Ireland in reality 23 points worse than New Zealand? The questions they asked in attack would suggest the answer to that question is ‘no,’ but basic defensive errors and a malfunctioning set-piece combined with some stellar All Black defence inside their own 22 and you have to say the hosts deserved to win and win well.


Full-time: New Zealand 42 Ireland 19

Ireland get stuck at the maul as once again New Zealand stop them from going anywhere and they win the turnover. That is that as Karl Dickson blows for full-time.


80 mins: Josh van der Flier is held up as again New Zealand’s goal-line defence stays strong. Another advantage was being played and you have to wonder when another warning will be issued, not that it makes any difference to the result.

New Zealand 42 Ireland 19


80 mins: Conan shows brilliant strength to get over the line but he’s held up. Back we go for an offside penalty against the All Blacks.

New Zealand 42 Ireland 19


80 mins: The clock is in the red but New Zealand flood in the breakdown off their feet. Carbery sticks it in the corner for one last chance.

New Zealand 42 Ireland 19


79 mins: Karl Tu’inukuafe is sent to the bin for taking out Murray as he tried to get to the ruck. He was trying to roll out of the way and didn’t see the Ireland scrumhalf but it is a penalty and New Zealand were on a warning.

New Zealand 42 Ireland 19


77 mins: A late consolation for Aki. His initial delayed pass to O’Mahony opened up the hole before the offload to Ringrose took the ball into the 22. A few phases later there is Aki again, popping up on a hard inside line to burrow his way over from close range. Carbery converts.

New Zealand 42 Ireland 19




77 mins: Ireland are convinced Porter has scored but Dickson is equally confident that it is held up. New Zealand clear with the goal-line drop.

New Zealand 42 Ireland 12


76 mins: Another penalty as Whitelock fails to roll away. Dickson has a word of warning with Savea who is the skipper now with Cane off the park.

New Zealand 42 Ireland 12


75 mins: Scott Barrett gets a hand on Sheehan’s throw but Ryan still manages to gather for Ireland. Barrett then gives away a silly penalty for taking O’Mahony out off the ball.

New Zealand 42 Ireland 12


74 mins: A late penalty allows Carbery to kick into the 22.

New Zealand 42 Ireland 12


73 mins: Keenan nearly notches a 50:22 after plucking Barrett’s penalty to touch out of the air, but the bounce doesn’t go his way. Barrett clears and then Sowakula pinches at the lineout only for Ireland to win it back on the turf. Henshaw shrugs off one would-be tackler to get a bit of momentum into the attack.

New Zealand 42 Ireland 12


71 mins: DEBUT TRY FOR SOWAKULA! A big shove comes at the scrum and the replacement number eight picks at the right time to run through a weak tackle attempt from Carbery and dive over the line. Barrett converts from straight in front.

New Zealand 42 Ireland 12


70 mins: Down goes Porter at the scrum and Dickson calls another penalty. New Zealand stick with the scrum.

New Zealand 35 Ireland 12


68 mins: Aki gets in over the ball but Dickson was playing advantage for Sheehan straying offside - Heffernan has gone off again not too long after coming on. The All Blacks opt for a scrum.

New Zealand 35 Ireland 12


66 mins: Brilliant from Whitelock to stall Ireland’s attack and pilfer the ball on the deck. Ireland then get pinged for failing to roll away a few phases later.

New Zealand 35 Ireland 12


65 mins: The All Blacks get a free-kick for an early shove at the scrum. Barrett keeps his kick in field as Lowe gathers back inside his own 22.

New Zealand 35 Ireland 12


64 mins: Sowakula is on for an All Blacks debut but his first involvement is to spill a pass. Ireland go on the attack inside the Ireland half but Ringrose’s no-look pass is picked off by Fainga’anuku. Aki then nearly picks off a pass to go under the sticks but he just can’t hang on.

New Zealand 35 Ireland 12


63 mins: Ireland make a mess of their maul as Retallick gets in through the middle to trap the ball. Scrum New Zealand once it goes to deck. Dan Sheehan makes way for Dave Heffernan.

New Zealand 35 Ireland 12


62 mins: Not the first time Ireland have lost a crucial lineout tonight. A mistake in the air and New Zealand can clear their lines.

New Zealand 35 Ireland 12


61 mins: That’s a shocker from Jordie Barrett. Ball was clearly carried back into the 22 but he’s launched it straight out. A rare moment of luck for Ireland.

New Zealand 35 Ireland 12


Hang on. It won’t be a try. Van der Flier has clearly dropped the ball short of the line, Rieko Ioane once again the man to knock the ball loose. That’s two tries he’s saved in a matter of minutes.




Wow. Carbery lost the ball over the line and it’s not a high tackle since Ioane hit his shoulder, not his neck. The right call to be fair but it’s a matter of inches from being a penalty try. Ireland did have an offside advantage and will tap from 5m out.


JOEY CARBERY IS OVER! Dickson wants to check the grounding but surely if it’s not a score then it’s a penalty try since Carbery was clearly hit high. TMO time.


56 mins: Doris comes up with a brilliant breakdown steal before Reece’s attempted interception goes wrong as he’s pinged for a deliberate knock. Looks harsh, he was trying to bat the ball up in the air to claim. That intervention from Doris was his last involvement as Conan enters the fray, Earls also goes as Aki comes on. Ringrose goes to the wing.

New Zealand 35 Ireland 12


54 mins: That is soft. Too soft. Ringrose misses Savea initially before Henshaw fails to haul him down while trying to scramble. Far too easy a score as the backrow forces his way over from outside the 22. Barrett coverts.

New Zealand 35 Ireland 12




52 mins: Ireland get a lucky break. New Zealand clearly have the upper hand but shove too early as Smith didn’t put the ball in. Carbery kicks the free-kick down the line, All Black lineout on the Irish 10m. Ireland disrupt the throw but it goes straight back into touch.

New Zealand 28 Ireland 12


51 mins: Penalty New Zealand as Porter brings the scrum down. The forwards stay where they are as another scrum is called.

New Zealand 28 Ireland 12


50 mins: Ryan is good to continue. New Zealand opt for the scrum off the penalty 10m from the Irish line.

New Zealand 28 Ireland 12


49 mins: Barrett’s cross-kick is too high for Tupaea as it sails into touch but there was an advantage for Sheehan straying offside. Ryan looks to be in trouble here with some sort of leg injury as he receives treatment.

New Zealand 28 Ireland 12


48 mins: O’Mahony gets told not to go after the ball at the breakdown, giving him an easy penalty to give once he picks up the ball. New Zealand turn down the points and go to the corner.

New Zealand 28 Ireland 12


46 mins: Now New Zealand are guilty of letting Ireland off the hook with their exit as Jordie Barrett fails to roll away. Loose ball at the lineout, though, gifts the All Blacks possession back on halfway.

New Zealand 28 Ireland 12


44 mins: What a finish that is in the corner after Lowe put Ringrose over in the corner. It was good from Ireland to get a series of quick phases to open up that space out wide as Carbery converts brilliantly from the touchline. That’s just the start to they half they needed.

New Zealand 28 Ireland 12




43 mins: Sevu Reece is in over the ball but Bower didn’t roll away first. Carbery kicks the penalty back into the corner.

New Zealand 28 Ireland 5


42 mins: It’s an excellent start to the half for Ireland as Lowe and Henshaw link well to crash up to the 22. A penalty comes as Gibson-Park is interfered with at the back of the ruck, Carbery kicks to the corner.

New Zealand 28 Ireland 5


The players are back out then. Word is Sexton has failed his HIA - over to you Mr Carbery then and his restart has gotten the second half underway.



It all started so well for Ireland, but a sloppy ten minute period just before the break has likely put this game beyond them. They dominated possession early on, powering through New Zealand’s fringe defence with their forward carriers but a series of late errors have cost them dear. One slip and a poor pass, a missed breakdown defence assignment and a failure to resource a ruck deep in their own half, it’s basic stuff that’s gone wrong but that’s a testament to the pressure the All Blacks have applied both with their line speed and at the breakdown.

Still, for every error to be punished so ruthlessly is both impressive from a Kiwi point of view and unfortunate on the Irish side of things.

Ireland need to regroup but not change tack dramatically; the game plan in attack is good just execution inside the 22 has let them down. Cutting out the bad mistakes in their own half would help too.


Half-time: New Zealand 28 Ireland 5


40 mins: Another soft penalty allows New Zealand to exit easily off the restart. This time Porter was the guilty party as he is caught off side. Barrett taps and launches the ball off the park to take us to half-time.

New Zealand 28 Ireland 5


38 mins: TRY STANDS! The officials say the ball went back off Smith’s hands and you have to say this five minute period just before half time has put the game out of reach of Ireland. Barrett converts.

New Zealand 28 Ireland 5



The end of this half is descending into a disaster for Ireland. Smith picks at a ruck and darts through with now pillar defender. He chips into the in-goal and even though Earls beats him to it, it bounces back past the other Ireland chasers and into the gleeful arms of Savea. We are going to check if Smith knocked it on...


37 mins: James Ryan is convinced the ball is out as Smith sets up for a box kick but Dickson disagrees. Easy chance for New Zealand to clear their lines.

New Zealand 21 Ireland 5


36 mins: The breakdown is an absolute mess as Ireland get shunted off the ball inside their own 22. Barrett grubbers in behind and Tupaea has acres of space to slow his run, gather the ball and dive over under the sticks. Dickson wants to check he’s onside but the TMO is happy. Barrett converts the easy conversion.

New Zealand 21 Ireland 5




34 mins: Gibson-Park’s box doesn’t make any ground at all and New Zealand can attack in the 22. Barrett’s grubber turns Earls but it’s too heavy for the chase as it rolls into touch.

New Zealand 14 Ireland 5


33 mins: A good counter ruck from Ireland forces a penalty and Gibson-Park goes quickly. Ringrose makes ground up to the 22 but a phase later Sam Cane’s big tackle forces the ball loose. Ireland having no issue in making their way up the park at the moment, the problem is inefficiency inside the 22.

New Zealand 14 Ireland 5


31 mins: Barrett converts from in front of the posts. Looks like Sexton is gone for a HIA as well as Joey Carbery is on the field.

New Zealand 14 Ireland 5


29 mins: Ireland disrupt at the back of the maul and an ill-judged offload gifts Porter possession. Van der Flier makes ground before Sexton carries into the 22 albeit he has gone down clutching his head. Henshaw does very well to hold onto a loose ball but SEVU REECE HAS PICKED UP THE LOOSE BALL AND IS UNDER THE POSTS! A try out of nowhere but a loose pass from Ringrose is punished, Lowe was there to take the pass but slipped just as it came from his Leinster teammate, allowing Reece to scoop off the deck and race home.

New Zealand 12 Ireland 5


27 mins: Smith slips while trying to clear, allowing Lowe to run back with a head of steam. Sexton goes high for Earls to chase and he bats it back onto the Irish side, albeit Doris has to scramble back to take it. Henshaw carries up to the 22 but a stray boot at the breakdown kicks the ball into touch.

New Zealand 7 Ireland 5


26 mins: Ireland make decent ground on the first phase backline strike but Ringrose’s pass to Lowe is a touch in front of him. He spills into touch as New Zealand get the set-piece inside their own 22.

New Zealand 7 Ireland 5


23 mins: Decent response from Ireland. Sexton’s short restart is contestable and an error is forced in the air. Ireland scrum inside the Kiwi 10m line.

New Zealand 7 Ireland 5


20 mins: The All Blacks hit back! From one flank to the other they go with quick ball, Quinn Tupaea’s wrap around and fast pass puts Fainga’anuku into space inside the 22. He’s held up just short but a phase later with Ireland’s defence not set Barrett crashes over from close range. Jordie Barrett converts his own score to give the All Blacks the lead.

New Zealand 7 Ireland 5




19 mins: Good defence from Ireland. van der Flier and Ryan put in two decent shots to limit the All Blacks’ carriers before Tadhg Beirne gets in over the ball. Sheehan tries to clear but it’s a terrible effort. Fortunately for Ireland, New Zealand spill on the deck when trying to recover.

New Zealand 0 Ireland 5


18 mins: Better scrum from Ireland as this time Furlong gets a shove on. New Zealand get it out as Smith boxes ahead, Keenan takes the swirling effort well. Sexton then chips into space but the bounce just takes it over his head on the chase.

New Zealand 0 Ireland 5


16 mins: Dramatic stuff as Barrett takes a kick into the 22 under pressure but steps past Keenan. The clearance is rushed and Ireland get a lineout on the 10m line but Ryan can’t take it cleanly. Scrum New Zealand.

New Zealand 0 Ireland 5


15 mins: Beauden Barrett has just saved a certain try. Sexton’s grubber is perfectly weighted for Ringrose to gather. He offloads inside to Gibson-Park with a clear run to the line but Barrett as the last man came flying up to tip the ball into the air and catch for the interception. Would be a penalty try if he didn’t catch it.


14 mins: Penalty New Zealand! Porter swings his hips out under pressure and Dickson blows the whistle. Bower probably had the best of Furlong on the other side as well. Worrying early signs for Ireland at the scrum.

New Zealand 0 Ireland


13 mins: It’s been an almighty battle between Bower and Furlong at the scrum so far. Dickson is running around to their side to have a look as that pair takes the set-piece down.

New Zealand 0 Ireland 5


12 mins: I’m not sure that breakdown steal from Peter O’Mahony was technically legal but Ireland cash in as the chip into the 22 puts New Zealand under pressure. Earls gets to hit first but his hack through hits a black shirt and rolls into touch. Ireland get a free-kick as New Zealand close the gap at the lineout, scrum taken.

New Zealand 0 Ireland 5


10 mins: Ireland get their maul defence wrong but the All Blacks don’t take advantage as Smith kicks off the base too early. There’s a spill in the air from an Irish hand but it is let go as Ringrose nails Cane in the tackle to force the knock.

New Zealand 0 Ireland 5


9 mins: Good work off the restart sees Lowe work out of the Irish 22. Both sides exchage kicks before Lowe finds a decent touch inside the Kiwi half, albeit it was a bit of a shank.

New Zealand 0 Ireland 5


6 mins: What a start from Ireland! It ain’t pretty but it’s effective. Off a lineout just inside the 10m line, Gibson-Park just hits forward pod after forward pod as Ireland’s one-off runners crash through the gain line phase after phase. Eventually they work their way up to the 22 where Ringrose’s inside ball to Keenan is followed by a lovely wide pass. Earls has plenty of work to do to fight through multiple black shirts but his finish is excellent. Sexton misses the conversion from out wide.

New Zealand 0 Ireland 5




3 mins: Beirne safely takes the lineout before Lowe clears. The ball stays infield but the All Blacks give away a penalty for keeping the ball in the ruck illegally. Ireland get away with one after kicking loosely to Sevu Reece.

New Zealand 0 Ireland 0


3 mins: An early bout of kick tennis ends with Sexton clearing under pressure from his own 22. Keenan couldn’t control the kick and ended up putting his captain under duress. The All Blacks run it back with some quick ball, Smith is given some good quality ball before Barrett grubbers into touch inside the 22.

New Zealand 0 Ireland 0


1 mins: We are underway at Eden Park! Beauden Barrett launches the ball high and short. Ireland let it bounce but Josh van der Flier gathers the loose ball. It’s scrappy stuff on the deck but the All Blacks drop it while trying to flood through on the deck.

New Zealand 0 Ireland 0


England’s Karl Dickson is the man with the whistle today.


Haka done then. They went for the shortened version, not the one usually held back for special occasions. Aaron Smith led it in the absence of TJ Perenara who usually takes charge.


Right then, here come the players. Anthems first before Ireland face the haka. New Zealand go A Capella for theirs - big fan of that personally. That rendition borders on chilling.


Matt Williams has an interesting take on Ireland’s reaction to Joe Schmidt being drafted in to the All Blacks camp.

Instead of focusing on this wonderful opportunity that Ireland have earned via brilliant performances against New Zealand over the past few years, Ireland decided to have their own good old fashioned panic attack this week.


It’s been 48 matches and 28 years since New Zealand last lost at Eden Park

Catch up on Gerry Thornley’s preview from New Zealand.


You look this New Zealand team and have to wonder if they saw what France did to Ireland and what La Rochelle did to Leinster and were left with one conclusion: power. Scott Barrett starts at six even though he has not done so for the All Blacks since their disastrous 2019 World Cup semi-final loss to England. Their midfield pairing of Quinn Tupaea and Rieko Ioane is also pretty beefy, though, for all the rugby Ioane has played in the centre, you can’t help but think Ireland can get at him in attack given he is traditionally a wing.

Wing Leicester Fainga’anuku debuts after an impressive Super Rugby campaign with the Crusaders, while forward Pita Gus Sowakula is due to follow suit off the bench.


New Zealand: Jordie Barrett; Sevu Reece, Reiko Ioane, Quinn Tupaea, Leicester Fainga’anuku; Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith; George Bower, Codie Taylor, Ofa Tu’ungafasi; Brodie Retallick, Samuel Whitelock; Scott Barrett, Sam Cane (capt), Ardie Savea.

Replacements: Samisoni Taukei’aho, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Angus Ta’avao, Pita Gus Sowakula, Dalton Papalii, Finlay Christie, Richie Mo’unga, Braydon Ennor.


For all the talk around Covid in the build-up to this one, it’s gone somewhat under the radar that Peter O’Mahony has bumped Jack Conan from the starting backrow. Tadhg Beirne also returns having not played for Munster between the Six Nations and now during injury; Ireland look to be prioritising the lineout as an attacking launch.


Right then, with that late change in mind, let’s have a look at the Irish team.

Ireland: Hugo Keenan; Keith Earls, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, James Lowe; Johnny Sexton (capt), Jamison Gibson Park; Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, Tadhg Furlong; James Ryan, Tadhg Beirne; Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris.

Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Cian Healy, Tom O’Toole, Kieran Treadwell, Jack Conan, Conor Murray, Joey Carbery, Bundee Aki.


The connecting flight from Doha which was bringing late call-up Ed Byrne (and many fans including Josh van Der Flier’s parents) has been delayed only by an estimated 11 hours.


What was a dramatic build-up to this game in and of itself has only gotten worse from an Irish point of view on the day of the game. Covid wiped out virtually all of the New Zealand coaching ticket - hence Joe Schmidt’s involvement on their bench today - it has struck Ireland as well as Finlay Bealham has been ruled out in a late development.

This comes after Jeremy Loughman suffered a suspected concussion against the Maori All Blacks while Cian Healy looked to have picked up a tour-ending ankle injury. Miraculously, Healy has recovered to take a bench role today, but with Bealham now out, Tom O’Toole has to take the 18 shirt just days after he put in an 80-minute stint.

What’s more, Ed Byrne’s flight to New Zealand has been delayed, meaning he won’t land until after this match. That means Michael Bent - yes, you read that right - has been called in as an emergency warm-up player in case one of the matchday props goes down last minute. You really couldn’t make this stuff up.