17 thoughts on “Rate the Match: Ireland v New Zealand

  1. A solid 10 of a match. Breathless, intense, spirited. What a difference a week made for that Irish team. Hard to pick out a standout but couldn’t help noticing the sub hooker seemed to be in the middle of every tackle and ruck. Outstanding I think.

    Know exactly how the Irish fans feel. Nightmare stuff.

  2. Couldn’t be more proud but gutted at the same time! What a game definitely a 10. Thought losing Best would be a real issue but Cronin was superb, thought Healy was massive, personal highlight was when he steamrolled McCaw, Toner and O’Connell were far far better, best game I’ve seen Heaslip play, he was back to his 09 form, O’Brien looks like our main man. I was calling for D’Arcy to be dropped by Ireland but he most certainly proved me wrong he played a blinder, all in all a world class performance but the AB’s are scary good and that last try showed it!

  3. What a game. The proverbial game of 2 half’s. NZ just don’t know when they are beaten. A very difficult game for the ref but he stood up well. No wonder I love rugby and I really feel for the Irish, both players and fans.

    Fantastic entertainment.

  4. Great game. Gutted for Ireland, but what about the self belief by the kiwis. You could see in their body language that they knew that they could score at the end. Only quibble, Ireland did make way too many box kicks in the second half and played right into kiwi hands. They ended up having to defend for too long. In the end they just ran out of everything. Gave it a 9. On reflection, should have been a 10 as I don’t know what else a rugby game could provide.

  5. Superb entertainment but Jonny Sexton will be kicking himself for that final miss. That was time to kill NZ off for good and he blew it and knows he blew it!

  6. Sexton bottled it at the end, you could tell with the amount of time it took to take the kick that he was crapping himself. Was entertaining game, but frustrating at the end because New Zealand have dodged yet another bullet!

    1. I don’t think he was crapping himself. I think he was running down the clock which seems sensible to me.

      However, I agree that he should have nailed it and I have only once found a defeat as hard to take and that was the play off loss to France in the football.

      Incredible game, no one has run NZ that close. No rewards for close though. Conor Murray was outstanding.

  7. power, pace, physicality, intensity, execution, skill, everything you could ask for from a game of rugby, a privilege to have been there

  8. Haha. I think they broke the mold this time. It’s no wonder Ireland are inconsitent. Who goes up 19-0 against the AB’s and then loses? Only Ireland wax and wane like that, at that level and intensity. I’m still very encouraged. It’s more than anyone could ask for given that they might end up playing NZ in the next world cup. It was a genuine Irish performance – everything good about Irish rugby in one game – so close, and same for the #1 team in the world of course -their never say die clinical rugby, and fight back. Classic test match. Ireland let the occasion get to them a bit by rushing early at the last kick, but to be fair, that’s how determined they were. Flick of a coin finale really. I’m kind of happy New Zealand made history. Terrific bunch of players they have right now so they deserve it.

  9. Something’s gone wrong here, the scale only goes as far as 10. Best game of the AIs by a long shot, and I say that as an Englishman.

    1. Agreed – thought the england nz game was a good one but this was better in every facet

      Some beautiful play from the Irish but some poor defence and decision-making as well.

      For a spectator, the last try just seemed inevitable the moment Sexton missed that penalty.

  10. Mitchel

    V generous comments on NZ. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) I missed the 1st 1/4 & so had my heart in my mouth for the whole game… again… over a Kiwi team scoring @ the death (the other being the R League match v Enga of course).

    Pretty hard on the Irish, but relief for me. Maybe Joe Scmidt did some overtime with the guys?

    Be interesting to see if they can kick on in the 6N now, but this game should certainly give them confidence.

    G’luck anyway.

  11. As an Englishman I am so frustrated that Ireland came out second best but they had only themselves to blame.So disappointed they did ‘nt win how could they have allowed themselves not to run down the clock properly and give the ball back to AB’s.

  12. Simon S

    Are you not looking at it from 1 side only? I think it’s not that simple, although from the sidelines it may have seemed so. I doubt that the Irish would just ” ‘give’ the ball back to AB’s”, unless pressure had been exerted, as it was for the 2nd 1/2. Had the Irish ball been either retained or kicked out it might have been a different story, but it wasn’t.

    Prolonged pressure does ‘funny’ things to people & THAT is part of a team’s ability; to exert & or cope with pressure. Remember Ronan O’Gara’s seemingly pointless mid air charge on the Saffa near the death in the last Lions test v SA? It turned the game.

    Presonally I, like I suspect most others, thought that the game was up. The ABs had to play accurately for what appeared an eternity & the odds were agin their doing that. But they kept their thinking going & it finally proved enough. They DIDN’T try to force play. That was vital methinks.

    And why did Ireland charge the conversion early at the end? They could have had a draw (which maybe would have been fair?). Again, pressure?

    But it’s not about what coulda happened, shoulda happened or mighta happened, it’s about what did happen.

    NZ likely know this from a few WCs ago. Maybe they’ve learned from those experiences? We’ll see nxt WC I guess.

    And perhaps Ireland will also do so under Joes S. Afterall he dun good @ Leinster didn’t he? But maybe we’ll also see in the 6N.

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