Clinical New Zealand ease past Ireland at Eden Park

New Zealand 42-19 Ireland: The All Blacks run in six tries to ease to a comprehensive victory over Andy Farrell’s side… as they lay down a marker in the opening game of the three-match series

  • Ireland went in front early on at Eden Park through a well-worked Keith Earls try
  • New Zealand responded, scoring four first half tries to open up a dominant lead
  • The All Blacks added two further tries after the break to seal a decisive victory
  • The two sides will face each other in two more matches over the coming weeks 

Ireland capitulated following a strong start and lost captain Johnny Sexton to injury as clinical New Zealand recorded an emphatic 42-19 first-Test victory in Auckland.

Keith Earls scored his 35th international try inside six minutes as Andy Farrell’s side flew out of the blocks at a sold-out Eden Park but things swiftly unravelled on a punishing evening.

Ardie Savea claimed two of the ruthless All Blacks’ six scores, with Jordie Barrett, Sevu Reece, Quinn Tupaea and debutant Pita Gus Sowakula also crossing.

Ardie Savea scored a try in either half to hand New Zealand a comprehensive win

Sevu Reece ran from his own half to score an interception try for New Zealand in the first half

New Zealand were clinical, scoring six tries in total to ease past Ireland

Influential fly-half Sexton was forced off in the aftermath of Reece’s breakaway try and later failed a head injury assessment to compound a miserable outing.

Ireland, who made the scoreline more respectable thanks to second-half scores from Garry Ringrose and New Zealand-born Bundee Aki, paid a heavy price for repeated defensive lapses and face an uphill task to salvage the series.

Victory for the physical hosts avenged November’s 29-20 defeat in Dublin and maintained their impressive 28-year unbeaten run in a stadium which has become a fortress.

Ireland head coach Farrell also saw Joey Carbery and Josh Van Der Flier each denied certain tries by superb interventions from All Blacks centre Rieko Ioane.

The Englishman must quickly galvanise his dispirited squad ahead of next week’s meeting in Dunedin, for which he is likely to be without Sexton.

Keith Earls had gone over in the corner to give Ireland an early lead at Eden Park

However, things quickly went wrong, as Johnny Sexton had to go off with a head injury




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