All Blacks beat Ireland 42-19 at Eden Park

:The All Blacks braved Irish storms early in each half but responded with six tries to open their 2022 season with a hard-fought 42-19 win in Auckland on Saturday to go 1-0 in the three-game streak in to take the lead.

Ardie Savea scored both sides at half-time – his first in a blitz of three tries in eight minutes – as New Zealand avenged a 29-20 defeat in Dublin last November and extended their unbeaten run at Eden Park to 47 Tests over 28 years.

Ireland will gain confidence for the Dunedin and Wellington Tests as they dominate for extended periods, breaking the New Zealand line on attempts from winger Keith Earls, center Garry Ringrose and Auckland-born midfield substitute Bundee Aki.

Fullback Jordie Barrett scored a try and converted all six for the All Blacks, while winger Sevu Reece, center Quinn Tupaea and debutant loose forward Pita Gus Sowakula also crossed for the home side.

“We’re pretty happy, it’s definitely a good start to the year,” said All Blacks captain Sam Cane.

“We were good for patches, certainly a good start, but we still have a lot of work to do. The guys defended really well, even to the end.”

Ireland, who had won three of their last five meetings between the nations but had never defeated the All Blacks in New Zealand, came out firing and decisively won the collapse’s early bout.

Earls crossed for his 35th Test attempt after five minutes and Jordie Barrett’s response for New Zealand 16 minutes later was against the flow of play.


The Irish attacked again after half an hour when Reece caught a bad pass and raced away for New Zealand’s second try, and there was a second blow for the visitors when skipper Johnny Sexton was forced off after a headbutt.

The All Blacks were over again six minutes later when Tupaea ran for Flyhalf Beauden Barrett’s nicely angled cultivator kick, and this was almost immediately followed by Savea’s first try.

The Irish followed up to make it 28-5 at half-time four minutes after the break when Ringrose cornered a fine assist from a spinning James Lowe.

Savea went on a rampage after 53 minutes and the Irish’s hopes of getting back in contention were dashed when both Joey Carbery and Josh van der Flier were ruled to have lost control of the ball across the line.

New Zealand now had the competition firmly under control and the popular Sowakula continued his breakout season, breaking away from an attacking scrum and flying over the line under the post.

The Irish never gave up and for the most part pounded the All Blacks defensive line for the last 10 minutes, even after rewarding a consolation attempt for Aki, who won the contest five minutes after the final honk.

“Overall I thought it was a great friendly and it will give us confidence to break a defense as strong as the All Blacks,” said Ireland’s Peter O’Mahony.

“There’s a lot to do from our side, but a lot of confidence needs to be taken.”