New Zealand 22-32 Ireland: Andy Farrell's side win third Test and secure historic series

New Zealand 22-32 Ireland: Andy Farrell’s side win third Test and secure historic series

Ireland led 22-3 at half-time and resisted a comeback in the second half; England also take the series win in Australia; playoff day continues with Springboks vs Wales (SS Action 3.30pm), Argentina vs Scotland (SS Action 7.30pm); all crucial tests exclusively live on Sky

Last updated: 07/17/22 10:21 am

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Highlights from Ireland’s historic third Test victory over New Zealand in Wellington

Highlights from Ireland’s historic third Test victory over New Zealand in Wellington

Ireland sensationally defeated the All Blacks 32-22 in the third Test and won a series in New Zealand for the first time in their history.

The unprecedented result was built on an impressive first-half performance with Andy Farrell’s side leading 22-3 at half-time after attempts from Josh van der Flier, Hugo Keenan and Robbie Henshaw.

The All Blacks dominated the start of the second half, including a period of sins for Andrew Porter to make it 25-22 with a quarter to go – but Rob Herring’s close-range attempt calmed Irish nerves and Johnny Sexton’s conversion pushed their advantage into something pulled out again more than 10 minutes before the end.

From that point on, Ireland controlled the final stages of the competition and as the clock turned red, the tears of Peter O’Mahony on the touchline showed what it meant to become only the third team ever to win a series of three Tests in New Zealand.

“It’s a very special day because we’re playing against the best in the world. To come down here and do it is very special,” said Sexton.

“It’s clear how much trust we have and it starts with the lead man [Andy Farrell]. He did a great job and that’s a credit to him.”

Bundee Aki came on for the injured Garry Ringrose as Ireland made just one change to their line-up. Aki joined Robbie Henshaw in midfield while captain Johnny Sexton capped his 108th cap, matching Paul O’Connell’s tally for Ireland. Keith Earls called on the bench.

New Zealand had to make late changes as Scott Barrett was out. As a result, Akira Ioane got into her back row. Karl Tuinukuafe was also on the bench for Aidan Ross and Tupou Vaa’i came on as another substitute. Sam Whitelock had returned to the XV after missing the second Test with a concussion.

In the third consecutive Test, Ireland took an early lead, this time through Josh van der Flier.

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In the third consecutive Test, Ireland took an early lead, this time through Josh van der Flier.

In the third consecutive Test, Ireland took an early lead, this time through Josh van der Flier.

Ireland started the crucial test in the best possible way as their pack delivered a powerful roller hammer and Van der Flier went down after four minutes.

However, Sexton hooked the conversion attempt to the left of the post, which was what his kicking opponent Jordie Barrett would do seven minutes later from a penalty.

Barrett reset his radar shortly after the conclusion of the first quarter to open New Zealand’s account. However, with the burden of anticipation on them, they remained nervous and undisciplined.

New Zealand – Attempts: Savea (44), Ioane (52), Jordan (61). Cons: Barrett (45, 53). Think: Barrett (25).

Ireland – Attempts: Van der Flier (4), Keenan (28), Henshaw (40), Herring (65). Cons: Sexton (29, 40, 73). Think: Mesner (35, 56).

Hugo Keenan extended Ireland's lead with this effort

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Hugo Keenan extended Ireland’s lead with this effort

Hugo Keenan extended Ireland’s lead with this effort

Van der Flier was also instrumental in the rearfoot. His turnover shattered Kiwi’s confidence and moments later speedsters James Lowe and Hugo Keenan started on the left.

Lowe’s pop pass to Keenan was beautifully timed and Sexton’s boot added both the conversion and another penalty to keep them marching.

Henshaw next man to cruise for the visitors as they were in complete control of the competition. More points from his captain’s boots rounded off a fantastic first half and the tourists led 22:3 at the break.

Robbie Henshaw snatched Ireland's third try as they went 19 points clear at half-time

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Robbie Henshaw snatched Ireland’s third try as they went 19 points clear at half-time

Robbie Henshaw snatched Ireland’s third try as they went 19 points clear at half-time

A 19-point deficit was New Zealand’s largest half-time deficit in a Test and the Kiwi reaction came quickly after the break.

The home team was led by Ardie Savea, who did his best to win the decider alone. Savea’s attempt in the 44th minute got the scoreboard rolling for the hosts, with others soon to follow.

When Porter received a yellow card for a direct contact with Brodie Retallick, New Zealand took advantage of the extra man.

New Zealand and Will Jordan took full advantage of Johnny Sexton's crossbar, with Jordan's pace and footwork leading to a Kiwi try

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New Zealand and Will Jordan took full advantage of Johnny Sexton’s crossbar, with Jordan’s pace and footwork leading to a Kiwi try

New Zealand and Will Jordan took full advantage of Johnny Sexton’s crossbar, with Jordan’s pace and footwork leading to a Kiwi try

Akira Ioane and Will Jordan added more tries while Porter was out of the park, only to be met with a penalty from Sexton and another that bounced off the bar in agony.

With the score 25-22 and a quarter to go, it looked like New Zealand could pull off the most remarkable comeback. Farrell’s men remained composed and, once restored to a full contingent, proceeded to press their case further.

As with Ireland’s first attempt at the game, the forwards set up a platform to work from. Rob Herring then snapped his maw off at just the right time, creating a pinpoint one-handed ground contact.

Sexton’s final conversion extended his lead to 10 points with 15 minutes to go. From then on, they stayed composed and calm to get over the line and make history in Wellington.

Farrell: It won’t be done again

Andy Farrell was full of praise for his Ireland team and believed winning a series in New Zealand was the

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Andy Farrell was full of praise for his Ireland team and believed winning a series in New Zealand was the “hardest thing in world rugby”.

Andy Farrell was full of praise for his Ireland team and believed winning a series in New Zealand was the “hardest thing in world rugby”.

After the game, Farrell said Sky Sports exactly what the result means for his side and how they will shape it ahead of next year’s Rugby World Cup in France.

“This is a special group to come here and achieve what they have achieved, it will not be done again – especially when we know what is going to happen in the next few years anyway.

“It’s probably the most difficult thing in world rugby,” he concluded.

“We came here with the task and tackled it. There’s a group of 40 players and a lot of staff, we said it’s going to be the start of our World Cup year – I think it’s a bit bigger.”

Johnny Sexton reflected on the great job his head coach did on a special day for Ireland

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Johnny Sexton reflected on the great job his head coach did on a special day for Ireland

Johnny Sexton reflected on the great job his head coach did on a special day for Ireland

Meanwhile, Captain Sexton hailed his head coach’s influence on the team and the way Farrell stuck to his beliefs after taking over the roster.

“It’s a very special day because we’re playing against the best in the world… and to come down here and do it is very, very special.

“It’s clear how much confidence there is in the team and it starts with the captain [Andy Farrell]. He was brave in the beginning, he stuck with some older guys and got criticized. He brought some younger guys with him and he just did a great job. It’s all thanks to him.”


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