Ireland 24-28 New Zealand: Rugby World Cup 2023 quarter-final – live | Rugby World Cup 2023
Ardie Savea, who was immense in the match, is here.
“It was just a battle and I’m real proud of my boys. A shout out to the Irish boys who really raised the game everywhere. I hardly noticed [the yellow cards] as we were working so hard. I’m just so proud of the boys.”
An absolutely titanic struggle, and an incredible performance from the All Blacks whose defence and ruthlessness meant Ireland could never find a way back from 13 points down in the first quarter.
Another quarter final win for New Zealand, another exit for Ireland as Johnny Sexton’s career comes to a close in a familiar but no less heartbreaking way.
There was the formality of a penalty to be tapped and sent off the park, and that has now been done.
OH MY WORD!
81 mins. A show and go from Ringrose, but still the Irish attack is held on the 22 still.
80 mins. 24 phases and the clock is in the red. Ireland remain on the 22.
79 mins. Ireland are up to the 22, but don’t look like making a breakthrough
78 mins. The All Blacks are fanned across the field, allowing Ireland to play, forcing them to play through the black wall which so far they cannot do.
77 mins. O’Brien takes a brilliant catch from a Smith box kick that puts Ireland in possession. They move into the NZ half.
76 mins. New Zealand have the ball again and are looking after it around halfway, eating up the clock and Irish spirit.
75 mins. NZ are just inside the Ireland half and are slowly working carries off even slower ball. Eventually they move it right and sensibly kick in-goal to force Ireland to ground it so they will have to drop kick it back to NZ.
72 mins. Ireland catch and drive a 5m lineout and Kelleher is over the line but Jordie Barrett somehow gets under the ball and prevents it being grounded! That is an unbelievable defensive intervention as that looked a try all day.
Doris bounces the ball off his chest when trying to catch the drop out. Oh dear, what a couple of minutes for Ireland…
68 mins. Hugo Keenan takes a good catch, but Murray was obstructing an NZ chaser. Barrett has another chance and this time he doesn’t miss.
67 mins. It’s an NZ scrum just in the Ireland half, and they will be trying to shove with seven men. The whole Ireland pack is pinged for stepping left and this gives Jordie Barrett another shot at goal, that he pulls to the left.
Codie Taylor gets ten minutes for that but of skulduggery.
63 mins. Beirne claims the lineout and the maul get rumbling to the line before Codie Taylor pulls it down. Ref Barnes has no hesitation in giving a penalty try.
It’s a one point game!
62 mins. Ireland go back to their patterns and this puts Keenan through a gap, but again the NZ defence is speedy and tenacious in the scramble. But, the men in green don’t panic, they reset and go right before Fainga’anuku is pinged at the ruck.
Sexton puts it in the corner. They need to score twice and prevent NZ from scoring at all.
“Alright Lee?” says Andy Bradshaw, “Ireland currently panicking here, not playing the phases, trying too hard with magic kicks and passes.”
I agree, Andy. The clock is applying pressure to their thinking, but take nowt away from this NZ defence, that is playing a blinder.
58 mins. A penalty just left of the posts is pulled wide by Sexton. That’s a poor miss given the context and his ability.
57 mins. The Ireland lineout is won at the tail and O’Brien is straight into action with a carry before Gibson-Park tries a miracle miss-two pass out to the right wing that Aaron Smith intercepts. That would’ve been very bad news for Ireland had Smith not slipped over as he looked to set off.
It’s way too early for Ireland to start trying that level of nonsense.
55 mins. Ireland waste no time getting back on the attack, with a kick to the corner forcing Beauden Barrett to clear clumsily to touch.
Hansen was injured in the chase, so he’ll be replaced by Jimmy O’Brien.
An impressive finish once through the line from the All Blacks, but it was far too easy for Mo’unga to ghost through on first phase. Andy Farrell will be fuming.
53 mins. Mo’unga receives the ball from a lineout near halfway and he simply takes it to the line as moves through a gap that has been left in the defence. Jordan is on his shoulder to outrun Keenan and score.
Jordie Barrett converts.
52 mins. A fifth breakdown penalty is conceded by Ireland after Henderson is isolated as the attack moves forward. New Zealand, to their credit, are not panicking on turnover ball, instead regrouping and spotting the opportunity to nick it.
50 mins. A massive maul off a lineout by New Zealand marches 2o metres around halfway before the ball is released left for the phases to start. Aaron Smith is back on and has a dart up to the 22 but the Irish defence is patient and precise and eventually they steal it and set off up the left on the attack.
46 mins. Ireland are in the groove now with a lovely rhythm in their attack as they seem to have time to execute their plentiful patterns off the ruck. Hansen pops up in the 10 channel and creams a cross kick towards Sheehan on the right touchline who is this close to gripping it, but it bounces just over his reaching hand with the line right there at his mercy.
44 mins. The ball is moved right to Hansen who on the run, tight against the right touchline somehow manages to execute a 50:22. A quietly glorious kick.
From the lineout, the ball moves to the middle of the park and Gibson-Park chips a cross-kick towards O’Mahony who is lurking wide right. He can’t grip it and it bumbles forward.
42 mins. A strong carry from Aki off the kick off gets Ireland moving forward before some ruck pinball. The ball is eventually sent to Keenan who clears long.
Beauden Barrett restarts the match
What a half of rugby; A-listers bringing their A-game to an epic encounter so far.
It looked like Ireland’s inability to convert 22 entries, combined with New Zealand’s regular scoring and Farrell’s men being starved of the ball for periods was to be their undoing. But, in the second quarter they slowly started to get points on the board, including that invaluable late try.
New Zealand’s scramble defence is already looking a little tired, which Ireland will have noticed, but the quality of the NZ attack and Sheehan’s poor lineout may be enough to take them to victory.
Woof! There’s some forty minutes incoming.
40 mins. Ireland claim the restart smartly and Sexton kicks the ball off the park.
38 mins. Sexton goes to the corner and Sheehan finds his jumper, it’s moved left before NZ are offside at the ruck so it’s put in the corner again. This time it’s a catch and drive before Gibson-Park shows a dummy, darts for the line and stretches over to score one-handed at full arm’s length.
Sexton adds two points.
36 mins. Lineout aside, Ireland are threatening each time they have the ball, and this time they are through on the right and an inside pass from Hansen that would have set Gibson-Park free is slapped by Smith. It was deliberate and cynical so he gets 10 minutes.
34 mins. That try was the result of some efficient play in the 22 from NZ, but ultimately the root cause is that Ireland, not for the first time this tournament, don’t have a functioning lineout.
33 mins. The All Blacks make no such lineout mistake in the 22 and move the ball into midfield before firing it right to Savea lurking on the touchline to dive over.
Mo’unga pushes the conversion wider
31 mins. It’s the All Blacks’ turn to have the ball and they move it left in the Ireland half before a pass goes behind Beauden Barrett to slow it down. Another chip and chase is won and fed to Jordan, but Sheehan hammers him then Doris clamps on to win a very good penalty.
But, Sheehan’s throw is again not great at the lineout, the ball is lost and Jordan boots a 50:22.
28 mins. It’s been all Ireland since the NZ try and they are back in the 22, with the all floated to Aki who cuts back against the defence, steps Ioane and Frizzell and forces over.
Sexton converts and the game is very much back in the balance.
24 mins. More imprecision for Ireland at a lineout in the NZ 22 sees it nicked but the clearing Smith kick is blocked, putting them back on the attack. The ball is worked right then grubbered in-goal, but Beauden Barrett is first to it.
21 mins. From the kick-off Frizzell runs across a chasers line, giving Sexton a chance from in front that he slots with little fuss to get his team on the board.
Ireland cannot allow NZ to score any more points in this half, I would venture.
19 mins. Beauden Barrett chips forward and gathers a kind bounce in the Irish half. The ball comes out quickly and is moved left for some interplay in tight space that finds Fainga’anuku to score. A wonderful try.
17 mins. Ireland haven’t had much ball, but when they do they are easily cutting through the NZ defence and into the 22, which is where it becomes more tricky. Hansen and Gibson-Park work some magic up the right, before the All Black defence scrambles to enough to slow it down before eventually nicking it.
On the next attack Retallick is in on an isolated Van Der Flier to win a penalty. It’s very early, but this feels a little ominous for Ireland.
13 mins. Sam Cane hits Doris with a booming tackle to drive him back which gives Savea a glimpse of the ball, which is enough for him t clamp on and win a penalty.
It’s from range, so Jordie Barrett takes over the kicking duties and slots it.
11 mins. Slightly sloppy lineout for Ireland is eventually tidied and worked left to Keenan joining the line who takes a tackle and flinsg it to Lowe, but it’s a little wild and it’s just over Lowe’s head. The winger can’t hold it and it’s in touch.
9 mins. After eight minutes Ireland finally get their hands on the ball and two phases are quickly worked right to Ringrose who drive up into the NZ half. Savea is too keen atthe ruck and concedes a pen which Sexton puts in the corner.
7 mins. Eventually, inevitably, Ireland are penalised and it’s Beirne for not rolling away. It looked to me like he was being held in, but Ref Barnes’s opinion is infinitely more important than mine.
Mo’unga takes the three.
5 mins. The latest penalty lineout is tidier from NZ and they are in the Irish 22 and working repeat phases . It’s nearly 20 phases in total, but is being well contained by Ireland, with credit to both sides for their breakdown discipline.
3 mins. New Zealand are loose with their exit drills, with the ball bounce passing before Andrew Porter is off his feet in his eagerness to pounce on the breakdown opportunity. The relieving penalty doesn’t go well as Richie Mo’unga finds a poor touch and then their lineout is scrappy as well, but an Ireland knock on again gives them relief.
Ireland appear to have a nudge in the scrum but Porter is pinged for not driving straight.
Ref Barnes blasts loudly and Johnny Sexton puts the ball into the air to get this primetime clash underway.
Hot tears flow down Andrew Porter’s cheeks as he and his team belt out Ireland’s Call, before it’s New Zealand turn with no hint of of moisture present.
Not sure what this tells us, but we’re a few minutes closer to kick-off nonetheless.
The noise is huge as the players walk from the tunnel into whirling spotlights, Ireland in tracksuit tops while the All Blacks are stripped down and ready to go.
Michael Keane emails
“Ireland fan here. Prior to the South Africa game I was sick in bed with a bug for 48 hours and didn’t have the energy for nerves. Now I’m healthy again but I’m feeling pretty rough all of a sudden.
I was in the Stade de France last weekend and after 2 minutes we felt good and after half an hour it was beyond doubt. Tonight I don’t expect to be able to relax until I’ve received verification from 3 sources that the game is over.”
Those in charge out there…
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant Referees: Matthew Carley (England), Christophe Ridley (England)
TMO: Tom Foley (England)
Pre match reading
Former All Black Nick Evans runs his eye of the two sides.
It’s been a long day to wait for this if you are Irish, and a no doubt restless night if you’re in Aotearoa. Let me know how you’ve pushed through, and how you’re feeling on the e-mither or.
Andy Farrell has lost James Ryan from the second row, but can call on the ability and experience Iain Henderson to take his place. In the backs, Mack Hansen and James Lowe have overcome their knocks from last week to start. Leinster’s Jimmy O’Brien is on the bench.
Ian Foster’s NZ starting team has six changes, with Ethan de Groot, Ardie Savea, Aaron Smith, Rieko Ioane, and Scott and Beauden Barrett all recalled.
Sam Cane captains from openside.
Hugo Keenan; Mack Hansen, Garry Ringrose, Bundee Aki, James Lowe; Johnny Sexton (captain), Jamison Gibson-Park; Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, Tadhg Furlong; Tadhg Beirne, Iain Henderson; Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris
Replacements: Ronan Kelleher, Dave Kilcoyne, Finlay Bealham, Joe McCarthy, Jack Conan, Conor Murray, Jack Crowley, Jimmy O’Brien
Beauden Barrett; Will Jordan, Rieko Ioane, Jordie Barrett, Leicester Fainga’anuku; Richie Mo’unga, Aaron Smith; Ethan de Groot, Codie Taylor, Tyrel Lomax; Brodie Retallick, Scott Barrett; Shannon Frizell, Sam Cane (captain), Ardie Savea
Replacements: Dane Coles, Tamaiti Williams, Fletcher Newell, Samuel Whitelock, Dalton Papali’i, Finlay Christie, Damian McKenzie, Anton Lienert-Brown
Welcome to Paris, where you may have heard there’s a rugby match on.
In a tournament with a few unexpected outcomes, this match looked nailed on from a long way out. Ireland seamlessly moving from the pinnacle of the world rankings to the top spot in the group to face New Zealand, whose second place behind France in Pool A speaks to their current status.
But academic considerations of form and progress are often flung from the high balcony of a Rugby World Cup knockout. The All Blacks can tell many a tale of those years between 1987 and 2011, when being the best team in the world counted for nought in the wake of a defeat; visions ofhaunting insomniac hours and puncturing the quiet moments.
And, of course, Ireland. A nation that has inexplicably never won a World Cup knockout match, falling at the last-eight hurdle each time. Surely this time it will be different, after all, they are facing a team they have beaten five times since the famous 2016 victory in Chicago? Moreover, Andy Farrell’s men clinched a first ever series win in NZ last summer, prompting a tearful Peter O’Mahony to say, “This has never been done before. It’s something I never thought was possible as a young fella, but now the young fellas back home will know this can be done.”
Leaving aside the young fellas, this Ireland squad and coach are under no illusions regarding their ability and potential. Grand Slam Champions, unbeaten in 17 matches and a purring, brutal engine in which all know their role and perform it brilliantly.
New Zealand have a few ghosts in their machine, with some of their ageing players not as evergreen as those on the other team and a level of performance that has been strong but just below the very best. Ironically, they would do well to take inspiration from one of their famous defeats: England in the 2019 semi, where a strong but unfancied team came up against a juggernaut and ran it off the road. More simply, they may just remind themselves that they absolutely battered today’s opponents in the QF the week before.
What will the outcome be? Another doubt-splintering result for O’Mahony to show to the young folks back home, or rugby’s historical natural order reinstated by the All Blacks?
Settle in, it’ll not be long now.