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New Zealand v Ireland: third and deciding rugby union Test – live! | Rugby union


Key events:

16 mins. What is clear from the opening minutes is that the All Blacks’ plan is to carry close to the ruck then kick via Beauden Barrett. The latest one is a huge one on Keenan than Jordan is this close to claiming, but knocks it on.

14 mins. Finally, the ball is out and NZ are taking narrow carries up via the forwards sticking close to the ruck. Ireland are deliberately not committing too many player to the breakdown, and they stand so far off one the All Blacks end up knocking on due to their own momentum not being stopped.

12 mins. An NZ scrum, wide right on the Ireland 10m line, is taking an eon to complete.

MISSED PENALTY! New Zealand 0 – 5 Ireland (Jordie Barrett)

9 mins. Bundee Aki and Andrew Porter are both untidy at the ruck and are ruled to be off feet. It’s in front and not too far out so the tee comes on, but Barrett pushes it wide. That’s a horrible miss and NZ are still without points after a decent few minutes.

7 mins. It’s the All Blacks’ turn to have some ball around the half-way line. A few phases are contained by the Irish defence before Beauden Barrett sprays a kick crossfield towards Reece but Hansen disrupts it, albeit with a knock-on.

Another towering kick from Barrett is claimed for the mark by the dependable Hansen and Ireland can clear their lines.

TRY! New Zealand 0 – 5 Ireland (Josh Van Der Flier)

3 min. Sexton spurns a kickable penalty to put the ball in the corner. It’s claimed in the lineout, the drive is set up and walks over the line for Van Der Flier to flop over and open the scoring.

Three weeks on the bounce Ireland have had a marmalising start.

Sexton pulls the conversion left.

Josh van der Flier celebrates with teammate Tadhg Furlong. Photograph: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile/Getty Images

2 mins. Ireland have the ball back from an Aaron Smith kick and straight away they look dynamic and powerful. Solid tests are getting over the gainline before Caelan Doris puts a lovely step in off his right foot to set them away up the left. Some offloading looks promising but the final pass from O’Mahony is to Beauden Barrett.

Similar opening pattern to last week from the the visitors.

Kick off!

1 min. Wayne Barnes gives us a loud blast, prompting Johnny Sexton to boot the ball the long and the decider is underway.

Aaron Smith has tears streaming down his face God Defend New Zealand rings around the stadium, in case you were wondering how much this game means to the home side. He wipes his face and leads the Haka.

Here come the teams.

Sexton, mouthguard sticking out of his mouth and the usual fuming expression on his phizog, leads the Ireland squad out followed by Sam Cane and the All Blacks to a cacophany of noise.

Springsteen song email!

“It’s not my favourite , but surely for this game it’s ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town’?” asks David Parry.”

Tonight I’ll be on that hill ‘cause I can’t stop, I’ll be on that hill with everything I’ve got, With our lives on the line where dreams are found and lost, I’ll be there on time and I’ll pay the cost for wanting things that can only be found, In the darkness on the edge of town

Yep, that works (and it’s one of my favourites)

Andy Farrell is chatting to Sky TV.

“We’re excited, this is where we want to be. We’ll get them at their best and that’s what we want, you want to test yourself against the best. We’re fit and ready don’t worry about that.”

Very late team news.

Scott Barrett is out of the All Black line-up after a flare up of a injury sustained earlier in the week. Akira Ioane is promoted to start at blind-side and Tupou Vaai moves onto the bench.

Reading while you wait

What does all these new losing experiences mean for New Zealand? Here’s Liam Napier with more on that.

Tell me all about your troubles, woes, thoughts, fears and favourite Springsteen track either on the Emither or tweet away @bloodandmud


Sam Whitelock, sorely missed last week, returns at lock for New Zealand in move that pushes Scott Barrett to the flank. David Havili is at inside-centre, Will Jordan is on the wing and RL convert Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is on the bench.

Andy Farrell makes only one change to the victorious starting XV with Bundee Aki in for the injured Gary Ringrose. Keith Earls is back among the subs.

New Zealand: Jordie Barrett; Will Jordan, Rieko Ioane, David Havili, Sevu Reece; Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith; George Bower, Codie Taylor, Nepo Laulala, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Akira Ioane, Sam Cane (captain), Ardie Savea.

Replacements: Dane Coles, Aidan Ross, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Tupou Vaai, Dalton Papalii, Folau Fakatava, Richie Mo’unga, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.

Ireland: Hugo Keenan; Mack Hansen, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, James Lowe; Johnny Sexton (captain), Jamison Gibson-Park; Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, Tadhg Furlong, Tadhg Beirne, James Ryan, Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris.

Replacements: Rob Herring, Cian Healy, Finlay Bealham, Kieran Treadwell, Jack Conan, Conor Murray, Joey Carbery, Keith Earls.


Welcome one and all to the deciding test of the series in Wellington.

After last week’s first of victory in New Zealand, Ireland must find another never seen before moment vs their opponents today – a back to back win. Andy Farrell’s men may have bested four of the last seven matches between the teams after a century of being on the runny end of the result; but a WW in the results column still eludes them. And how New Zealand will be bristling with fury in their desire to prevent that from happening.

The curious thing in the previous two meetings is that, red cards aside, both teams have broadly put in a similar performance. Ireland busy and creative, making enough dents up front and with territorial kicking to make the All Blacks reel a bit. New Zealand fitful and a little disjointed, but with enough dog in their scramble defence and pizazz in broken play or on counter to frustrate and indeed take the game. In week one, the latter won out while Dunedin saw the former smother the home side. That and all those cards. So many cards.

It’s fascinating to consider what will emerge dominant today. Andy Farrell is under no illusion that “[New Zealand] will be hurting, we know that they bounce back unbelievably strong.”

Ructions incoming.


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