Savea leaves Ireland beyond salvation as All Blacks live up to world-champion billing

New Zealand 42 Ireland 10

eden park

New Zealand's coach, Steve Hansen, saw his gamble on naming three debutants pay off as one, Julian Savea, scored three tries to propel the All Blacks past Ireland.

Hansen, a former Wales coach who spent eight years as an assistant to New Zealand's 2011 World Cup winner, Graham Henry, has stepped into arguably the most scrutinised rugby job. His brief is to balance the All Blacks' high standards with building a team capable of defending the Webb Ellis Cup in 2015.

The former police officer gave the wing Savea, the scrum-half Aaron Smith and the lock Brodie Retallick their debuts and they proved they could make the step up. But while Hansen praised the work of Retallick in the tight, Smith's passing and decision-making and Savea's tries, he reserved praise for the 12 men in the starting XV who were in the World Cup winning squad.

"The thing that pleased me the most of all was not the debutants, but the leaders in the team and our senior players," Hansen said. "They could have easily come in and been comfortable and all week they have displayed enthusiasm, excitement and a commitment to get the job done and they led the way. We started the week with one purpose, to have a performance we would be proud of, and we have to be proud of what we did."

The All Blacks' captain, Richie McCaw, had warned his public the team would not be perfect. They were far from that. There were dropped passes and knock-ons, intercepted passes and a lack of accuracy at the breakdown. The defensive screen that guided them to their 8-7 World Cup final win over France, however, was virtually impenetrable.

Ireland's try came when the hooker Rory Best gathered a loose ball from a charge-down and with every All Black up in the attacking line, the fly-half Jonathan Sexton kicked for the winger Fergus McFadden to score.

The Irish were keen to move the ball, often running from deep. But the All Blacks kept driving them back in the tackle and when Ireland did kick, there were plenty of black jersies to run it back.

Savea's first try came when he was given an overlap down the left. His second typified the match. Ireland had been on the attack but aggressive defence from Conrad Smith and McCaw forced a turnover and three passes and a kick later, the All Blacks had a line-out five metres out. Savea smashed through Cian Healy and Connor Murray.

"They played well," said the Ireland captain, Brian O'Driscoll. "For a team that had not played since the World Cup final that was a good standard. They bring a real intensity and great tempo and try to keep the ball in play.

"Some of their scores we didn't help ourselves but they constructed a few as well. They were worthy winners."

New Zealand I Dagg; Z Guildford (both Hawke's Bay), C Smith (Wellington), SB Williams (Canterbury), J Savea (Wellington); D Carter (Canterbury), A Smith (Manawatu); T Woodcock (North Harbour), A Hore (Taranaki), O Franks (Canterbury), B Retallick (Hawke's Bay), S Whitelock (Canterbury), V Vito (Wellington), K Read, R McCaw (capt, both Canterbury). Replacements A Thomson (Otago) for Vito, 46; A Williams (Auckland) for Retallick, 52; B Smith (Otago) for Guildford, 52; P Weepu (Wellington) for A Smith, 56; H Elliott (Hawke's Bay) for Hore, 61; B Franks (Tasman) for O Franks, 61; A Cruden (Manawatu) for Savea, 63.

Ireland R Kearney; F McFadden, B O'Driscoll (capt, all Leinster), K Earls, S Zebo (both Munster); J Sexton (Leinster), C Murray (Munster); C Healy (Leinster), R Best, D Fitzpatrick, D Tuohy (all Ulster), D Ryan, P O'Mahony (both Munster), J Heaslip, S O'Brien (both Munster). Replacements R Loughney (Connacht) for Fitzpatrick, 55; R O'Gara (Munster) for Sexton, 57; E Reddan (Leinster) for Murray, 61; D O'Callaghan (Munster) for Tuohy, 61; K McLaughlin (Leinster) for O'Mahony, 61; S Cronin (Leinster) for Healy, 71; D Cave (Ulster) for Earls, 72.

Referee N Owens (Wales).

New Zealand

Tries: Savea 3, Thomson, C Smith

Cons: Carter 3

Pens: Carter 4

Ireland

Try: McFadden

Con: Sexton

Pen: Sexton

Suggested Topics
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence