Tries by Brian O’Driscoll and Gordon D’Arcy weren’t enough to prevent Ireland crashing to a 66-28 defeat to New Zealand in Saturday’s Test Match in Yarrow Stadium, Taranaki…

The All Blacks ran in nine tries as a first half blitz by the hosts, capped by a sublime Dan Carter performance, resulted in defeat for the second time in a week.

With John Hayes a late withdrawal due to illness, the Bruff man being replaced by his Munster colleague Tony Buckley in the front row. And the Ireland pack began the game strongly with Leinster prop Cian Healy, John Muldoon and Buckley each making strong early defensive hits as the All Blacks threatened.

But an illegal hand in a ruck after six minutes gave Dan Carter a chance to kick the game’s opening points and the penalty, which gave the hosts a 3-0 lead, pushed the out-half to within three points of 1,000 in Test Match rugby.

Then Conrad Smith snaffled the opening try of the game moments later when he capitalised on a slip by Rob Kearney after a speculative kick forward bounced off the full back’s knee s the try line beckoned. Carter’s conversion made it 10-0 to the All Blacks after 13 minutes.

Credit to Ireland who bounced back immediately and Gordon D’Arcy almost snuck in after a wave of Irish pressure, but Ireland’s efforts suffered a setback when Jamie Heaslip was sent off in the 17thminute for dangerous play in the ensuing ruck.

The pace of Highlanders full back Israel Dagg provided the platform for the All Blacks to strike again which they did in the 22nd minute through number eight Kieran Read and Carter’s conversion pushed him past the milestone mark.

Ronan O’Gara then spent time in the sin bin for a professional foul and Crusaders prop Ben Franks touched down on his debut, with Carter again adding the points, to push the All Blacks into a 24-0 lead as the game approached the half hour mark.

Jimmy Cowan then raced in for his side’s fourth try, with Carter again converting, to make it 31-0 before he bagged his second try of the evening, with Carter again slotting home the points before Shane Jennings and Dan Tuohy’s introduction for injured duo John Muldoon and Mick O’Driscoll.

And Tuohy’s first minute in Test Match rugby reaped a try when he expertly picked up and ran in to score, with O’Gara’s conversion making it 38-7 to the hosts at half time.

Smith bagged his second try, which Crusaders out-half Carter converted, to make it 45-7. Substitute Piri Weepu then fed fellow sub Sam Whitelock with a deft inside pass.

Brian O’Driscoll added some gloss to the scoreline with a try where he displayed great power close in after some excellent work by Buckley and D’Arcy in the 57th minute, which O’Gara converted to make the score 52-14 before Tommy Bowe intercepted a pass close to the All Blacks line to reduce the deficit further moments later.

O’Gara’s conversion kept the scoreboard ticking over but hooker Keven Mealamu touched down for the hosts, which sub out-half Aaron Cruden converted, to make the score 59-21. But Ireland’s fighting spirit propelled them to their fourth try of the evening through the industrious D’Arcy after good hands again by the impressive Buckley and Healy in the 77th minute.

Jonathan Sexton added the points, but the half time deficit proved too much and Whitelock’s second try in the closing moments of the game sealed a record points total for New Zealand against Ireland, capped by Weepu’s conversion, to make it 66-28.

NEW ZEALAND SCORERS: J. Cowan, C. Smith, S. Whitelock (2 tries each), K. Read, B. Franks, K. Mealamu (1 try each), D. Carter (1 penalty, 7 conversions), A. Cruden (1 conversion), P. Weepu (1 conversion)

IRELAND SCORERS: D. Tuohy, B. O’Driscoll, T. Bowe, G. D’Arcy (1 try each), R. O’Gara (3 conversions), J. Sexton (1 conversion)


15: Israel Dagg
14: Cory Jane (Zac Guildford, 63)
13: Conrad Smith
12: Benson Stanley
11: Joe Rokocoko
10: Dan Carter (Aaron Cruden, 54)
9: Jimmy Cowan (Piri Weepu, half time)

1: Ben Franks
2: Keven Mealamu (Aled de Malmanche, 63)
3: Owen Franks (Neemia Tialata, 52)
4: Brad Thorn (Sam Whitelock, 49)
5: Anthony Boric
6: Jerome Kaino (Victor Vito, 38)
7: Richie McCaw CAPTAIN
8: Kieran Read


15: Rob Kearney (Geordan Murphy, 70)
14: Tommy Bowe
13: Brian O’Driscoll CAPTAIN
12: Gordon D’Arcy
11: Andrew Trimble
10: Ronan O’Gara (Jonathan Sexton, 70)
9: Tomas O’Leary (Eoin Reddan, 70)

1: Cian Healy
2: Sean Cronin (John Fogarty, 78)
3: Tony Buckley
4: Donncha O’Callaghan
5: Mick O’Driscoll (Dan Tuohy, 36)
6: John Muldoon (Shane Jennings, 31)
7: David Wallace
8: Jamie Heaslip


REFEREE: Wayne Barnes (RFU)