First Win In New Zealand
Ireland recorded their first evervictory on New Zealand soil at the weekend. A historic win for the Shamrocks was made a little easier with Angus Ta’avao receiving a red card in the 30th minute of the match. In spite of having more players on the field, Ireland were a constant threat and executed their game plan to perfection.
The Kiwis will need to pull their act together if they want to close out the series in the final game, their discipline in the previous match was shocking with two yellow cards and a red in the first half alone.
The All Blacks spent 14 minutes with 13 men in the opening half, and if they want to beat this Irish side which is now brimming with confidence after their latest outing, they’ll need to regroup and get back to doing what they do best by keeping their heads.
In our preview last week, we talked about the All Blacks’ dominance on home turf, before their match this weekend they had played 69 games and their record stood W64-D3-L2 and their two losses against South Africa and the British and Irish Lions were by minimal margins of two and three points respectively.
However, the latest New Zealand loss goes against the grain of what we know and the last time that New Zealand lost by a greater margin than eleven on home soil was back in 1993 when the All Blacks lost 20-7 against the ‘British Isles’, now known as the British and Irish Lions.
Andy Farrell has stuck with what worked last week in terms of team selection, with the Englishman only making one change to the side that pulled off their historic win. Bundee Aki comes into the team after a concussion to inside centre Gary Ringrose.
New Zealand -8 Handicap
The All Blacks may be feeling the pressure in this deciding game and head coach Ian Foster has rescinded some of the changes he made last week.
Captain Sam Whitelock comes back into the side after a concussion saw him miss the last game, Will Jordan is also back on the pitch and will start on the right wing.
David Havili, who missed the first and second test due to a positive covid test, is ready to start again and will come in to replace Quinn Tupea.
Now that New Zealand have shifted their team around to deal with some of the problems that Ireland cause and that their captain is back on the field, we believe the Kiwis have what it takes to clinch the series and will be similar to the first test.
It seems too much of an ask for Ireland to pull off the impossible again and if they did win here for the second time in a row it would be the first time since 1998 that New Zealand have lost two matches in a row whilst playing on home soil.
NEW ZEALAND -8 HANDICAP
All Blacks v Ireland Teams
New Zealand: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 David Havili, 11 Sevu Reece, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Sam Cane (c), 6 Scott Barrett, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 George Bower
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Aidan Ross, 18 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19 Akira Ioane, 20 Dalton Papalii, 21 Folau Fakatava, 22 Richie Mo’unga, 23 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
Ireland: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Mack Hansen, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 James Lowe, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Caelan Doris, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Peter O’Mahony, 5 James Ryan, 4 Tadhg Beirne, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Dan Sheehan, 1 Andrew Porter
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Kieran Treadwell, 20 Jack Conan, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Joey Carbery, 23 Keith Earls
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