Category Archive: New Zealand Rugby

New Zealand Rugby News

Mar 21

Warren Gatland refines search for bearers of Lions pride | Robert Kitson

Coach has four weeks to put together a squad capable of overpowering the All Blacks for the first time since 1971

Picking the best British and Irish Lions squad to tour New Zealand has long been a fraught job. In 1993, as now, England had just lost to Ireland in Dublin on the final weekend and the selectors were required to gather the following day. “We spent the next eight hours arguing,” recalls the then assistant coach Dick Best. “At one stage we had 21 England players on the tour but because we’d lost to Ireland it got whittled down to 17. Afterwards Ian McGeechan said: ‘I’m not going again unless I can select the team.’”

Related: Six Nations 2017 verdict: Guardian writers choose their highs and lows

The hardest thing is normally the last four or five players, with the right personalities, people who are going to be good tourists

Related: New Zealand media on England loss: ‘Stuffed plastic bags in need of a trolley’

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Mar 19

New Zealand media on England loss: ‘Stuffed plastic bags in need of a trolley’

The two sides’ winning sequence battle has ended in a draw with some claiming it is in fact Ireland who are the All Blacks’ closest challengers

Eddie Jones has a habit of being at his most honest straight after matches. After England’s victory over Italy he was not playing ball but a better example was when, after beating Wales, he made his true feelings known about the Principality Stadium roof controversy, saying rugby union is “a winter sport”.

Jones is also always at pains to protect his players so, when he talked on Saturday evening of how keen England were to face New Zealand later this year, it felt like an obvious way to deflect from being outfought and out-thought by Ireland – even though there was no doubt some truth in it.

Related: Bravo England on 18 in a row but Cyprus beat rats, kicks and punches for 24 | Simon Burnton

Related: ‘Congratulations England’: reading between the lines in New Zealand

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Mar 13

Eddie Jones stokes All Blacks rivalry but warns of Ireland backlash

• England coach likens New Zealand’s Steve Hansen to Big Bad Wolf
• ‘Winning back-to-back grand slams is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’

Eddie Jones has stoked the rivalry between England and New Zealand by comparing his All Black counterpart, Steve Hansen, to the cunning Big Bad Wolf in Little Red Riding Hood and warning his players not to be seduced by the warm words of praise from the southern hemisphere over the weekend.

New Zealand’s head coach was complimentary about England following their 61-21 win against Scotland, suggesting they looked fitter and more motivated than they had done previously. Jones, however, suspects Hansen of trying to lull his squad – and, potentially, the British & Irish Lions – into a false sense of security. “It’s a bit like Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf when the wolf comes dressed up as the grandmother,” Jones said. “When an All Black coach is complimenting you, you always have to be careful.”

Related: England happy to wait until they can step out from All Blacks’ shadow | Andy Bull

Related: How England equalled New Zealand’s 18-match winning streak, match by match | Gerard Meagher

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Mar 09

What the All Blacks will have learned about Lions from this Six Nations so far | Paul Rees

England have been below their best and, while Scotland have shown quality, it’s another thing to take on the world champions in a running game

England are the only unbeaten team after three rounds of the Six Nations, but they are the only side that have not led at least once at half-time. A table based on the first half of matches would see Ireland on top, Italy third and England bottom.

Italy have led twice at half-time but they have scored in the second period in only one of their matches, at Twickenham where an unconverted try improved on their blanks against Wales and Ireland. While Wales improved markedly in the second half in Rome on the opening weekend, they washed down their interval tea with a mere three points in the next two.

Related: Six Nations: Vunipola brothers gunning for Scotland fuelled by sibling rivalry

Related: Jonny Gray leads Scotland Six Nations title charge but they can still improve | Robert Kitson

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Mar 04

Warren Gatland and would-be Lions: crunch time for North, Hartley and co | Paul Rees

With two weeks left to impress the coach, which players have put their hands up in the Six Nations and who might miss out on the tour to New Zealand?

Leigh Halfpenny looked the Test full-back from the start in 2013, not least because of his goal-kicking, but with Owen Farrell able to fill that role it is more open this year. Stuart Hogg offers the most in attack but his defence is suspect while the reverse is true of Halfpenny, whose threat with the ball in hand seems to diminish every year. Mike Brown’s “they don’t like it up ’em” approach is not likely to be enough in New Zealand while pace is an issue for Rob Kearney. Full-back may be filled by a player chosen in another position, such as Liam Williams or Elliot Daly, who offers a counterattacking threat while being a resolute last line of defence.

Related: Warren Gatland warning puts Lions on behaviour alert for New Zealand

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Mar 03

Why would anyone drop the All Blacks to play for Ulster? Charles Piutau explains

Charles Piutau missed out on winning the Rugby World Cup when he signed for Ulster but his move wasn’t about his success – it was about his family’s welfare

By Jonathan Drennan for Behind the Lines, part of the Guardian Sport Network

Charles Piutau grew up as the youngest of 10 siblings in Māngere, south Auckland, heavily influenced by his Tongan heritage. The suburb is home to many families from the Pacific Islands and was once the home to another son of industrious Tongan parents, the late great Jonah Lomu. In Maori culture there is a concept called “mana” that pervades Māngere, whether in church, school or at home. It denotes personal and collective pride, strength and identity. No man or woman is bigger than their community in a Tongan family. When you rise, you support your relatives along the way, as they have helped you in your development.

Two years ago, Piutau was an All Black who made a decision that some of his compatriots struggled to understand. At the age of 23 he was recognised regularly on the streets on Auckland as a rising star for his provincial and international teams. To the surprise of rugby fans in New Zealand, Piutau decided to postpone his international career and sign for Ulster. An All Black must play their club rugby in New Zealand and Piutau was swapping the fabled black jersey for the white of Ulster.

Related: Ruan Pienaar: ‘I wanted to come to Ulster as a foreigner and make a difference’

Related: A life in boxing: Freddie Roach on Ali, Tyson, Cotto, Pacquiao and his mum

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Feb 21

Dan Carter loses sponsorship deal after drink driving charge

  • Car maker Land Rover end relationship with All Blacks star
  • Carter admits he made a ‘big mistake’ last week in Paris

A drink driving charge has proved costly for All Blacks great Dan Carter after the car manufacturer Land Rover cut ties with the All Blacks fly-half following what he termed a “a massive error of judgement” in Paris last week.

Related: Fit-again Taulupe Faletau gives Wales ‘nice Murrayfield selection headache’

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Feb 18

Warren Gatland warning puts Lions on behaviour alert for New Zealand

The head coach wants his Lions to ‘mend some stuff’ from the 2005 tour in which Clive Woodward’s squad were mocked, goaded and whitewashed

The last time Warren Gatland had a dig at New Zealand, one of their national newspapers put a cartoon of him dressed as a clown on the front page of their sport section. That was in November, when Gatland said he was “embarrassed” that the New Zealand Herald had run a picture of the Australia coach, Michael Cheika, wearing a red nose and a yellow ruff around his neck.

So, of course the paper then gave Gatland the very same treatment. “It was a bit of a lesson for me,” Gatland says. “I was really disappointed with that. I was really upset them turning me into a clown.” He pauses, and offers just a hint of a grin. “They could have at least made me a happy clown.”

Related: Warren Gatland mocked as clown by New Zealand media after anti-fan remarks

Related: Richard Williams: Woodward’s pride came before Lions’ fall

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Feb 12

Rugby Tens: Waikato Chiefs honour Sione Lauaki with title win

Waikato Chiefs 12-5 Canterbury CrusadersChiefs lose two players to serious injuriesThe Chiefs have honoured the memory of fallen All Black Sione Lauaki by winning the inaugural Brisbane Global Rugby Tens title.In an emotion-charged all-Kiwi final, the …

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Feb 12

Sione Lauaki, former New Zealand rugby player, dies aged 35

Tributes pour in for ex-All Blacks and Chiefs loose forward who was diagnosed with kidney and heart problems in 2012The former All Blacks and Chiefs rugby loose forward Sione Lauaki has died aged 35.Lauaki was diagnosed with kidney and heart problems i…

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Jan 18

Aaron Cruden set for France with Montpellier move lined up

  • Flyhalf to leave New Zealand at end of Super Rugby season
  • Remains eligible for All Blacks selection for Lions tour in June and July

All Blacks flyhalf Aaron Cruden will leave New Zealand at the end of this year’s Super Rugby season after signing a three-year contract with French side Montpellier. 

The 28-year-old, who made the announcement on the Waikato Chiefs’ Facebook page on Wednesday, will still be eligible for All Blacks selection when the British and Irish Lions tour New Zealand later this year. 

Related: Growing popularity of sevens demands it be given the respect it deserves | Robert Kitson

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Dec 28

Lions tour is jewel in crown but rugby union approaches 2017 at crossroads | Robert Kitson

The tour to New Zealand, despite the schedule, can restore faith and the Six Nations is shaping up nicely but with the professional era now more than 20 years old, the sport’s administrators must show conviction in the next 12 months

The most pertinent rugby quote of 2016, inevitably, came from Eddie Jones. “There’s only pressure when you don’t know what you’re doing,” murmured England’s head coach shortly before guiding his adopted country to their 13th Test victory of a perfect calendar year. As a short, sharp Twitter-friendly summation of how and why the Australian guru has turned English fortunes around, it was inch-perfect.

What would England’s national cricket and football teams do for a milligram of Jones’s self-assurance right now? Maybe the government should give him a call: who better to negotiate a workable Brexit deal from a standing start? It is easy enough, too, to imagine him discussing the art of influential leadership with the US president-elect. “Trumpy, mate, come over to Twickenham and I’ll show you how it’s done.” The tide of global history could be turned for ever.

Related: Lucky for New Zealand they were on the beach rather than battling England | The Breakdown

Related: Gus Pichot: ‘The Fiji v England game wasn’t very good for rugby … it’s unfair’

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Dec 07

Warren Gatland picks predictable trio but leaves space for Lions surprises | Robert Kitson

Lions coach named Andy Farrell, Steve Borthwick and Rob Howley in his backroom team but also has a few fascinating elements in place for the New Zealand tour

The beauty of every British & Irish Lions tour is the delicious uncertainty, despite the rather limited shock factor created by the announcement of Warren Gatland’s three assistant coaches.

Gatland continues to believe the odds can be overturned in New Zealand and, together with his lieutenants Andy Farrell, Rob Howley and Steve Borthwick, has been busy incorporating some fascinating elements into his plan for next summer.

Related: Warren Gatland names Steve Borthwick and Andy Farrell in Lions coaching team

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Dec 07

Perth to host Bledisloe Cup clash between Wallabies and All Blacks in 2019

  • Trans-Tasman rivals to meet at new stadium in 2019
  • Will be first time Western Australia has hosted a Bledisloe match

Perth’s new multi-purpose stadium will host the first Bledisloe Cup Test between the world champion All Blacks and the Wallabies in 2019.

The 60,000-seat capacity stadium is due to open in early 2018 and has been designed to cater for cricket, football, rugby and Australian rules football.

Related: Wallaby Bernard Foley sees enough to be encouraged despite tough year

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Nov 19

Ireland 9-21 New Zealand: rugby union autumn internationals – as it happened

Malakai Fekitoa scored two tries as New Zealand overcame two yellow cards to win in Dublin

7.44pm GMT

That was an excellent day of Test rugby, all in. England thrashed Fiji but showed frailties, Wales and Scotland crept past their opponents with dramatic late kicks, while New Zealand righted the wrongs of Chicago. Perhaps most momentous of all, Italy beat the Boks.

There’s still one game to go – Australia face France in Paris in a few minutes’ time – but that is all from me. Thanks very much for your company, see you (sort of) for all the action next Saturday too.

7.39pm GMT

Right, that is that. Michael Aylwin’s report from a superb Test match at the Aviva Stadium will be right here very soon. I’m just looking at the team sheets from the end of the game. Ireland had four blokes off with injury, while New Zealand completely reshuffled their backline to tighten up. Cracking game.

Massive respect between these sides after two epic Test matches this year.#IREvNZL

7.31pm GMT

“Jeez that was a tough Test match,” reflects Brodie Retallick. Damn straight.

7.29pm GMT

Here is Gerard Meagher’s report from Wales’s very tight win over Japan in Cardiff.

Related: Wales are run close by inspired Japan before late Sam Davies drop goal

7.28pm GMT

Conor Murray is talking to Sky. He’s annoyed that Ireland didn’t take advantage of all that possession and New Zealand’s two yellow cards. Ireland were just too profligate in the New Zealand 22. A brutal Test match, that.

7.25pm GMT

Beauden Barrett is your man of the match. It’s got very scrappy, and somehow Perenara breaks through, only to be tackled hard. They are chucking it about now. Eventually Fekitoa knocks on and that is that. The Blacklash happened, then.

7.23pm GMT

79 min Oh, that could have been lovely. But not quite. Jackson dinks over the top, Payne chases but knocks on, he can’t quite gather.

7.22pm GMT

78 min Ireland go off the top, and the backs hammer away. Eventually it is turned over and New Zealand come from deep. But Fekitoa’s dink goes straight out. That is a very poor kick. 90 seconds on the clock.

7.20pm GMT

77 min Finally the ball comes out. New Zealand eventually kick, find touch, and Ireland decide against taking it quickly.

7.19pm GMT

76 min Come on. This has been a great game. Now let’s not ruin by taking forever resetting scrums. That’s two resets now…

7.18pm GMT

75 min 10 phases now for Ireland, they are charging up the left, but TJ Perenara has spoiled it off Heaslip’s carry. NZ scrum 10 metres out on the right hand side.

7.17pm GMT

74 min Zebo is the latest Irishman to be helped from the field. That’s the fourth injury they have had. Scrum-half Marmion is on the wing. NZ’s scrum is solid, and they switch, but Fekitoa knocks on and Ringrose half-breaks. Hauled down. Ireland truck on…

Ha! Or is that Ha?

@willis_macp In my mind I am changing all your exclamation marks into question marks. It makes it more intriguing.

7.15pm GMT

73 min Ireland have three points to show for much of the ball this half. And it’s the same story here as Sean Cronin knocks on. It’s 21-9 with seven minutes to go. Naholo on for Ben Smith now.

7.14pm GMT

72 min Van der Flier breaks the line! He’s brought down on the 22 but that’s a lovely run. They keep plugging away …

7.13pm GMT

71 min Ireland win the ball and bash up the middle through Ringrose and Healy, on for McGrath. New Zealand resolute.

7.12pm GMT

70 min Sean Cronin, on for Best, takes the throw. Van der Flier goes up the middle, then Trimble up the right, but he’s bundled into touch by Ben Smith.

7.11pm GMT

69 min Ireland need to score twice. They are consolidating possession deep but have lost their shape. They win a penalty, which Jackson knocks down into New Zealand’s half.

7.10pm GMT

68 min New Zealand end up with the ball from that lineout and charge up the middle.

7.10pm GMT

67 min That feels like a sucker punch. Ireland have a lineout on the New Zealand 10m line on the left.

7.09pm GMT

66 min Ben Smith comes flying back at Ireland! It goes through all sorts of hands – Barrett, Lienert-Brown, Barrett again, Perenara (was that forward?), then to Fekitoa, who crosses easily for second. Scrappy and scintillating at the same time. Best is complaining to the ref. “I have a team that look after me,” replies Peyper. Barrett converts.

7.07pm GMT

64 min It’s scrum time, so they are catching their breath. More Fields of Athenry. Murray feeds a very noisy scrum then Ireland run it on the 22. Jackson kicks high.

Niall Swan wants the score. It’s 14-9 to NZ.

@willis_macp asked in the nicest way possible, could you put THE SCORE in some of your Ire v NZ updates please. Or at least in the headline?

7.05pm GMT

63 min Ireland grubber from deep and Barrett gathers. New Zealand go left, then right. Dagg has space and arcs round, but his offload only leads to a knock on off Lienert-Brown!

7.04pm GMT

62 min New Zealand charge on through the phases, through the offloads. But they lose it and Ireland come from deep! Was that another high tackle on Heaslip? No.

7.03pm GMT

61 min Toner claims the lineout again. Murray boxkicks, and New Zealand come from deep through Barrett. A loose pass from Perenara slows but they go down the short side to be greeted by a green wall.

7.02pm GMT

60 min Ireland go off the top and up the middle. But they are turned over and Perenara thumps down field and into touch.

7.01pm GMT

58 min TJ Perenara is off the bench. New Zealand are still giving away penalties. Jackson thumps downfield.

6.59pm GMT

57 min Jackson goes for the posts. 30m out, to the right, and scores. Three points scored during each sin-binning.

6.58pm GMT

56 min This game has just got real loose. Kearney is nearly in as Ben Smith fumbles a kick, then Ardie Savea goes on the break. New Zealand run from deep bit out left, they get pinged for clinging on!

6.57pm GMT

55 min Now it’s Ireland’s hooker beating defenders. Best carries, then it’s O’Brien up the middle. Three mins more in the bin for Fekitoa!

6.56pm GMT

54 min NZ go for touch, win the lineout at the front and Dane Coles is on the fly! Brilliant tackle from Sean O’Brien nips that in the bud. And then New Zealand give away another penalty.

6.55pm GMT


6.54pm GMT

53 min Ireland keep knocking on the door, but Josh van der Flier has knocked on in contact! And then a penalty comes. Ireland told to get their hands out of the ruck, and they ignored him. Great work again from Ardie Savea.

6.53pm GMT

52 min New Zealand bring on Charlie Faumuina for Owen Franks. Lineout in the corner for Ireland, who rumble. They are on the move. Again, great defence from NZ.

6.52pm GMT

51 min Ireland win the lineout and batter up the short side. Paddy Jackson crosskicks and in claiming Trimble does brilliantly but puts a foot in touch. We are going back for another penalty – it’s another high tackle on Murray.

6.51pm GMT

50 min Aaron Smith kicks off the base and finds touch, still inside New Zealand’s half.

6.50pm GMT

49 min Ireland go to the corner. I think that was the right call. No intent, but reckless. Heaslip claims the lineout and what a mess. Sean O’Brien tries to claim an offload at pace but shells it. Scrum eight metres out.

6.49pm GMT

48 min New Zealand run their way out down the left, then Smith does an awful boxkick from the 22, which goes nowhere! Ireland go left rapidly, and Fekitoa catches Zebo high and the arm is swinging. That’s yellow!

6.47pm GMT

47 min Ireland eventually knock on. Ardie Savea has pulled off an excellent turnover. New Zealand scrum,. eight metres off their own line.

6.46pm GMT

46 min There’s Fields of Athenry. Jeez that’s loud. Ireland tunnelling away up the left but still to no avail. Keep bashing.

6.45pm GMT

45 min Garry Ringrose nearly breaks through from that scrum, and New Zealand go left. The defence is excellent, again.

6.44pm GMT

44 min New Zealand win the lineout but there is a poor box kick from Aaron Smith. That gives it back to Ireland, who kick to Julian Savea, and he spills under pressure!

6.43pm GMT

43 min Barrett kicks for touch, and finds it, but New Zealand are not yet out of their half.

6.42pm GMT

42 min As Ireland go left, the ball is spilled backwards off Rory Best. Lots of possession. Black shirts everywhere, big tackle from Read on Payne. And now there’s a penalty for clinging on. Great defence.

6.41pm GMT

41 min New Zealand kick back to Ireland, who set about some phases. They try the short side with no luck, just chipping away. Heaslip barges up the middle.

6.40pm GMT

Jackson kicks off and here we go… Big 40 minutes

6.38pm GMT

My colleague Andy Bull has written an excellent piece from England’s win at Twickenham earlier:

Related: Rokoduguni’s flying England return only adds to frustration for drained Fiji | Andy Bull

6.37pm GMT

Richard Searle has been in touch. He’s talking about Beauden Barrett’s try. I thought he grounded it, but Johnny Sexton, who admittedly was much closer at hand, didn’t. Richard thinks Sexton should have been binned.

“If Barrett didn’t ground that try, it should have been a penalty try for the flagrant head shot he took beyond the goal line,” fumes Richard. “He only didn’t ground it easily because the Irishman tried to decapitate him. Should have been a try and a yellow card.”

6.33pm GMT

Greig Laidlaw knocks over three points for Scotland. Fratellis this time to celebrate it. The Murrayfield DJ is a predictable chap. It’s 16-16 with 12 left.

6.30pm GMT

Thrilling final 15 minutes await at Murrayfield, too. Argentina lead Scotland 13-16.

6.27pm GMT

Pause. For. Breath.

What a half of rugby. New Zealand lead, but their penalty count is also perilously close to double figures. Constant infringements. Ireland have had three (3) men go off injured. It’s tough going out there. Give me five minutes to gather myself and I’ll be back.

6.25pm GMT

New Zealand kick for touch, win the lineout, and then Barrett crosskicks. It goes out of place but is deep in the Irish 22. This’ll be the last play. Best finds his man again, they roll briefly, Murray demands the ball and nails it into touch.

6.23pm GMT

39 min Best – Toner – Murray is a pretty reliable lineout call for Ireland. They go right, then left, before Retallick tackles Jackson brilliantly. Ireland are pinged for holding on. New Zealand have a penalty deep in their own half.

6.22pm GMT

38 min Ireland go wide from the lineout, a Trimble grubber is cleaned up by Dagg. New Zealand recover to boxkick towards halfway.

6.21pm GMT

37 min Paddy Jackson kicks for touch, and Ireland will have a lineout on the right hand side just outside the 22.

6.21pm GMT

36 min The scrum is strong and Ireland win the penalty!


@willis_macp savage test of Irelands resolve & street smarts! Johnny Logan’s 2 Eurovision wins still stand alone unless we can get this done

6.20pm GMT

35 min Ireland go from deep, going through the phases. There’s a boxkick for Murray, which just gives the ball back to Savea, although Ireland keep the ball up from him and win the scrum!

Scotland 13-13 Argentina btw

6.18pm GMT

34 min Ireland kick for touch and go off the top. Trimble is stopped in his tracks by a huge tackle, Rettalick’s fifth.

6.18pm GMT

33 min The ball comes to Coles on the right, then Whitelock rumbles up the middle. It comes to Julian Savea on the left, who bumps one man, but then it’s a penalty to Ireland! New Zealand have conceded seven already.

6.16pm GMT

32 min Rolling maul then off the lineout then a dart down the shortside for Conor Murray. He gets up and boxkicks, which Dagg takes well. Barrett throws and aful pass over Fekitoa’s head and he does well to keep it in.

6.15pm GMT

31 min New Zealand win their lineout and get mauling, but Ireland have driven them out of play!

6.14pm GMT

30 min Huge shove at the scrum from NZ but Ireland keep the ball. Murray boxkicks into touch.

6.13pm GMT

30 min Oh no! Ireland try to run from deep and Paddy Jackson knocks on, it lands at Barrett’s feet, he picks up and trots in to score! Or does he?! He’s slapped it out of the hands, so it’s a knock on. Stander is off permanently now. Van der Flier to stay on.

6.12pm GMT

29 min New Zealand get the ball rapidly out of the scrum and run hard and flat from deep. They get to halfway until Ireland spoil a bit and knock on, with the resultant advantage kicked wide to Dagg. The ball is knocked on by New Zealand.

6.10pm GMT

27 min Ireland knock on from the resultant lineout. Aaron Smith returns to put the ball in to the scrum.

You can say that again:

@willis_macp Ireland really need to pull something out the bag to follow on from their performance in Chicago two weeks ago #COYBIG

6.09pm GMT

26 min Ireland penalty. New Zealand constantly infringing here. Joe Moody doesn’t wrap on Tadgh Furlong. Still a minute of Smith in the bin. Jackson puts this penalty into the corner.

6.08pm GMT

25 min Retallick collects Barrett’s kick off but Ireland counterruck brilliantly in midfield and turn it over!

6.07pm GMT

24 min Ireland are going for the posts. It’s simple enough for Paddy Jackson. Liam Squire was the naughty New Zealander at the scrum.

6.06pm GMT

23 min So we have an Ireland scrum 5m out, just to the right of the posts. The intensity here is mad. Four minutes more in the bin for A.Smith. Ireland advantage at the scrum, Murray cleans up, then they go left. Yep, back for the scrum penalty.

6.04pm GMT

22 min Ireland thump up through the middle, but the ball is slow. They get the scrummage. Great attacking from Ireland, quality defence from New Zealand’s 14 men. Stander off getting treatment, Josh van der Flier on for him.

6.02pm GMT

21 min Ireland go down the left. Stander thunders forward. Heaslip half-breaks down the right! New Zealand stretched.

6.02pm GMT

20 min Conor Murray’s boxkick is taken well by Savea, and the ball is all over the place, eventually out right with Zebo on a knock on advantage.

6.00pm GMT

19 min Ardie Savea is on for Cane, who has a knee injury. Sexton is off with a hamstring injury. Barrett kicks the penalty to touch, and New Zealand begin some phaseplay. Ben Smith replaces his namesake Aaron at 9. Barrett goes aerial but Trimble takes brilliantly.

5.59pm GMT

18 min Ireland put it in the corner – but Johnny Sexton is off. More on that as we get it. Paddy Jackson on. They win the lineout but are then pinged for blocking.

5.58pm GMT

17 min Zebo charges down the left, the advantage is still on. Lots of phases, lots of carries, and there’s the penalty. Read and Aaron Smith getting a telling off for spoiling at the breakdown – and Smith has been sin-binned for persistent offending!

5.57pm GMT

16 min Ireland win the lineout and get a rumble on. They have an advantage too.

Accra news:

@willis_macp Ryans in Accra lovely pint of the black stuff according to the reviews! Sure the match is on there! No more pub guide work!

5.56pm GMT

15 min Ireland penalty! It’s all going on here. Rory Best is in the referee’s ear about a tackle/shoulder charge, I think by Aaron Smith. Sam Cane is down in some discomfort – a twisted knee and a bloody head for him. Sexton puts the penalty into touch on the right by the 22.

5.53pm GMT

14 min The scrum is in the middle of the field deep in Ireland’s half. Aaron Smith picks up at the base, goes left and gives it to Beauden Barrett, who breaks through and crosses! What a scything run, what a score.

Or is it? They are having a look at the grounding, because Johnny Sexton has put in a brilliant tackle that might have held him up. The TMO thinks it is down, but the Aviva Stadium doesn’t! Try! And converted.

5.50pm GMT

13 min Ireland still have the ball. Another mammoth run of play with 10 phases before Rob Kearney grubbers. He and Ben Smith then exchange huge kicks. The last finds Beauden Barrett who breaks, dinks through, collects and tries to pass to Dagg but Trimble gets fingertips to it! Just a knock on. Try saving effort.

5.49pm GMT

11 min Right, that was a very long delay indeed. Very unfortunate. A frenetic game pauses for breath. Huge reception as Henshaw is taken off. Cane a lucky boy, I reckon. Citing?

Ireland kick for touch and win their lineout. It’s scrappy in midfield as they go up the short side. Now they go right.

@willis_macp Craic Irish Pub Calle 25, google Irish Pub………! Fearing for Ireland after that start. Come on The Tullow Tank do damage

5.46pm GMT

10 min Ireland win a penalty from the kick-off. Clock is stopped, to check Sam Cane’s tackle on Henshaw. Are there any arms in there? He just barges in, and it’s pretty high. TMO thinks he is trying to wrap. Penalty and nothing more, which appears to be against the new directives. Ireland are going to kick down field to touch. Rory Best is not happy, and Henshaw is in some serious discomfort. He’s going off on a stretcher – very long delay. Garry Ringrose is on.

5.42pm GMT

Ireland opt to use their advantage to have a shot at goal. It’s a simple one, just to the right of the posts and Sexton makes no mistake.

5.41pm GMT

8 min Conor Murray feeds, but Ireland are shoved back. Heaslip picks up, Murray goes left and there’s an offside advantage. Has Stander scored? No, he’s been held up.

5.40pm GMT

7 min Shock – the scrum is being reset

5.40pm GMT

6 min Rory Best’s lineout is pinched by Whitelock but Ireland scramble it back! Heaslip breaks and Sean O’Brien is fed, but is held up by Beauden Barrett! Ireland have a 5m scrum. Insane start, this.

5.38pm GMT

5 min Wow that is loose from Ben Smith. He throws a wild pass from the kick-off. Aaron Smith cleans up with a boxkick to touch. Ireland lineout 30 metres out on the left.

5.37pm GMT

4 min Aaron Smith feeds Dagg, who tries to squirm over but can’t! they go to Barrett, he cross-kicks flat, and Fekitoa finishes brilliantly! He has blood all over his face. The ball was in play for three minutes there. Mad. Barrett slots the conversion. What a start.

5.35pm GMT

2 min Sean O’Brien tries to gather the kick-off but takes a hit and is down. The two sides spar on the right hand side. New Zealand go left and there is space for Ben Smith but then Ireland turn Julian Savea over! Murray grubbers and Savea is on the charge again. NZ go right, then up the middle. This is intense. Fekitoa into contact on the left, then Retallick through the middle, and Read up the right. Ireland soaking it up.

5.33pm GMT

Beauden Barrett kicks to Ireland and WE. ARE. OFF. Jaco Peyper of SA our ref by the way.

5.31pm GMT

That’s the haka then. Spine-tingling as ever. No figure of eight this time. Just a straight line.

TJ Perenara leads the haka with Kieran Read at the front. It’s a year and a day, of course, since the death of the great man Jonah Lomu. New Zealand look PUMPED.

5.28pm GMT

(All three) anthems done, and sung very heartily indeed. Three of the best, actually. Time for the haka.

Thank you to @toniwater for this!

@willis_macp Ireland need 2 match the savage intensity the All Blacks will bring 2day, theyre hurt big time! Molly Malones in Belize!

5.25pm GMT

A quick shout for the reports from earlier:

5.22pm GMT

Anthem and dignitary time. Some dirty Movember performances from the All Blacks this year.

Don’t forget you can email me! Or tweet me!

5.19pm GMT

Players are on their way out. You have enough time to watch this. Dublin looks a treat.

5.18pm GMT


Michael Davies has been in touch with a “plea for help”. He writes: “Long shot … does anyone know where in Belize City might be showing the match?”

5.12pm GMT

Here are the teams for Ireland-New Zealand, which kicks off in about 18 minutes.

Ireland: R Kearney; A Trimble, J Payne, R Henshaw, S Zebo; J Sexton, C Murray; J McGrath, R Best, T Furlong; D Toner, D Ryan; CJ Stander, S O’Brien, J Heaslip.

5.09pm GMT

Keith Wood is one of the BBC commentators at Murrayfield. The poor bloke must be itching to be in Dublin. Instead, he’s just seen Greig Laidlaw put Scotland 3-0. Paolo Nutini, not the Fratellis, chosen to serenade him.

5.06pm GMT

Kick off moments away at Murrayfield. Heather Stanning off of rowing has just given the ref – New Zealand’s Ben O’Keeffe – the ball.

5.01pm GMT

A tweet! Thanks John.

@willis_macp History 4 or Black 2 Business as usual 4 NZ? Wounded All Blacks the worst kind of wounded! Close 4 65 mins then NZ by 10+!

4.57pm GMT

New Zealand’s Irish revenge mission is not the only rugby still to played today. Too much spring tours, as they call them in the southern hemisphere, continue. The Scots are hosting Argentina at Murrayfield – and that should be a belter – while Australia, who crept home against Scotland last week – face France in Paris at 8pm.

The Red Hot Chili Pipers are doing their thing at Murrayfield. Of course they are.

4.52pm GMT

Uh oh. South Africa lost to Italy earlier, and it hasn’t gone down well among top brass.

The Springboks take losing very seriously

10.28am GMT

More rugby! Thank you to England and Fiji and Wales and Japan for providing the tasty hors d’ouevre, but this, in Dublin, is the one we’ve all been waiting for.

Two Saturdays ago, Ireland pulled off one of the great wins. In Chicago, where the Cubs had just ditched another great hoodoo, they drew on the emotion fuelled by the tragic and premature death of Anthony Foley to secure victory over the All Blacks – at that stage on an 18-match winning streak – for the first time in 111 years, and at the 29th time of asking. It was an extraordinary achievement, and was down to a whole lot of skill; they scored five tries to New Zealand’s four and defended like demons.

Related: Ireland v New Zealand: half-backs hold key as Irish look to reshape world order

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Nov 18

Ireland and New Zealand gear up for Autumn International – video

Ireland and New Zealand prepare to face each other at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Speaking on Friday, Ireland captain Rory Best says his players were taking no chances in their preparation for Saturday’s clash. His New Zealand opposite number, Kieran Read, said the All Blacks were expecting a tough match following their 40-29 loss to Ireland in Chicago on 5 November

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