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18th Nov 2018

One Ireland legend gets perfect 10/10 as All Blacks are beaten again

Patrick McCarry



Ireland were forced to wait over a century to beat New Zealand but they have now done it twice in two years after a stunning win at Lansdowne Road.

The first half was an all-out war, with Ireland roaring back into it after soaking up early pressure. CJ Stander had a try ruled out and it was left to Beauden Barrett and Johnny Sexton to tick the scoreboard along. 9-6 at the break but much, much more was to come.

Jacob Stockdale was fortunate not to gift a try to Kieran Read but his confidence is rock solid and, when he got another bit of space, chipped ahead and collected to score a fine try. Lansdowne Road erupted as the Ulster winger was swamped by celebrating teammates.

Beauden Barrett grabbed three points back, to make it a one-score game, but Ireland were not letting this one slip.

Here’s how we rated Joe Schmidt’s men in green:

Rob Kearney – 9

So, so close to ending his three-year try drought in the green jersey. Looked to have dotted down but one angle of the interminable replays did him in. Solid as a rock at the back; great positioning. Brave aerial take on the sprint, on 52 minutes. Saved a try, just before he went off, by snatching Barrett’s offload.

Keith Earls – 7

Was lively enough and chased kicks hard but did not make much ground down his wing. Missed a few tackles too.

Garry Ringrose – 8

Made a huge tackle early on by rushing out of the line, and laid one on Kieran Read soon after. Set van der Flier away down the right wing. Was ferocious in defence.

Bundee Aki – 8

Came in for a heap of attention but brought the fire. Ryan Crotty drove him back at one stage but he was otherwise solid on his carries. One unfortunate spill as he looked set to counter and gain huge yards.

Jacob Stockdale – 9

WHAT A TRY!! Followed up one dink that was blocked down by Kieran Read to devastating effect. A try that stunned the All Blacks. Torched Barrett on the outside but claimed he was tripped as he chased another kick-through. Teamed up with Sexton to smash Read and Smith off the park.

If only we could get this guy signed up to a GAA team in the off-season… Dangerous on the deck but not as assured in the air.

Johnny Sexton – 8

His reaction when he bundled Smith and Read out of play was unreal! In his element and barking orders all night. Kicked well off the tee and put up bombs to trouble the All Blacks’ back three. Stood up well in defence even if he had to soak a few.

Kieran Marmion – 8.5

A few over-cooked kicks aside, he looked very solid. Drew a penalty from Retallick and made a nice tackle on Ben Smith inside his 22. Prevented one try-scoring chance (Ben Smith and Rieko Ioane) on either wing.

Cian Healy – 8

51 minutes of pure power. Thunderous outing from Healy. Big carries, the scrum was humming and he nearly shunted CJ Stander towards a beastly try until Savea got his torso in the way.

Rory Best – 7.5

Will come under more scrutiny after this evening. Scrum and lineout looked good but two knock-ons in decent positions in the first half. Forced a big turnover from Retallick though.

Tadhg Furlong – 9

What a demon. He emptied himself for the cause tonight. Won two first half penalties and laid waste to any black jersey in his way, or brave enough to come at him. Scrum was sensational again. Lovely pick up off the deck after Best had forced a knock-on.

Devin Toner – 8.5

His out-of-the-line charge and tackle on Brodie Retallick had the crowd roaring. Smart handling saw him claim a vital 22 drop-out.

James Ryan – 9

Almost seems as if there are two of him out there at times. Double figures for carries, tackles and rucks hit by half-time. Immense for 80+ minutes.

Peter O’Mahony – 10

Looks to be playing through the discomfort of a shoulder injury but still brought a serious level of intensity. Was kicking himself after a knock-on right at the start of the second half. His turnover just outside the Irish 22, minutes later, felt like a huge moment. Saved a certain try after the hour-mark when he chased back to claim a grubber.

Josh van der Flier – 8.5

Has registered 9 tackles in the first 13 minutes and showed he was an attacking force too. Out on the wing for a couple of moves, although he should have delayed a pass to Keith Earls a fraction longer, 25 minutes in.

CJ Stander – 9

CJ back to his bullish best. Tore into the world champions early on and made a big turnover on Read in his own 22. Had a try attempt ruled ‘held up’ but kept trucking. Another big turnover won on 70 minutes.


Jack McGrath (for Healy ’51) – 8

Luke McGrath (for Marmion ’59) – 7

Iain Henderson (for Toner ’62) – 8

Jordi Murphy (for O’Mahony ’64) – 7

Andrew Porter (for Furlong ’65) – 7

Sean Cronin (for Best ’65) – 6

Jordan Larmour (for Kearney ’66) – 7

Joey Carbery (for Sexton ’76) – 6