Ireland have created history again, as the men in green claimed a test series victory against the All Blacks after a thrilling 80 minutes in Wellington.
It was a simply sensational first half performance from Ireland, as Johnny Sexton and co. tore New Zealand’s defence apart to score three tries and take a 19-point lead into half time.
The All Blacks looked rudderless in the first half, but fought back remarkably well after the break, although Ireland showed great belief to hang on for a historic 32-22 victory.
Check out our Ireland player ratings below.
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) July 16, 2022
15. Hugo Keenan: 9
Superb from the former sevens star. Keenan ran a great line to score his try and didn’t make a single mistake in the backfield, despite having some very difficult kicks to deal with.
14. Mack Hansen: 7
Hansen didn’t see too much of the ball, but he tackled well out on the wing and cut out some All Blacks backline moves by rushing up. He did miss a tackle on Akira Ioane which led to a try, although he was left with a lot of work to do on that occasion.
13. Robbie Henshaw: 9
Henshaw is arguably the best defensive centre in the world, and he showed that again tonight as he stopped the All Blacks dead on a number of occasions. The Athlone man also ran a nice line to finish off a great backline move with a try.
12. Bundee Aki: 8
Aki rarely takes a backwards step and provided Ireland with plenty of front foot ball. He showed lovely hands too to put Henshaw in for his first try and gave it everything until he was forced off with injury late on.
11. James Lowe: 8
Lowe gave a lovely pass to Keenan for Ireland’s second try and crashed the ball up very well on plenty of occasions. His left boot was essential again, as he kicked very well in windy conditions in Wellington.
10. Johnny Sexton: 9
Ireland’s captain again marshalled his country’s attack beautifully and made an astonishing 14 tackles in defence. He didn’t have the pace to catch the electric Will Jordan although that was probably expecting too much of the 37-year-old.
9. Jamison Gibson-Park: 7
Gibson-Park’s fast delivery presented Ireland with plenty of opportunities in the first half, although he did make a number of errors after half time. His kicking wasn’t at its best although his passing was good.
8. Caelan Doris: 9
Doris was very quiet in the first test against New Zealand, but he has more than made up for that now. He got through 18 tackles in Wellington and powered past the gain line with ball in hand a number of times.
7. Josh van der Flier: 9
Van der Flier ended his best season on a very high note, as he was again tireless in defence against the All Blacks onslaught in the second half. 22 tackles, five carries and one turnover highlights just how much work the Wicklow man put in.
6. Peter O’Mahony: 8
The Munster stalwart didn’t have as many stand out moments this weekend, but it was a very good effort from O’Mahony nonetheless. He didn’t see too much ball but he did make 10 tackles and won one turnover.
5. James Ryan: 9
Ryan’s best performance in a long time. He disrupted a number of New Zealand lineouts in the first half, and was tireless with and without the ball as the All Blacks fought back in the second half.
4. Tadhg Beirne: 10
Absolutely sensational stuff from Beirne. He came up with three crucial turnovers when Ireland were under immense amounts of pressure, and even intercepted a pass at one point. The Munster lock made 18 tackles and also made some strong carries.
3. Tadhg Furlong: 8
The Wexford man produced his best rugby of the tour in the third test, as he put in a massive shift in defence with 13 tackles. Ireland didn’t win any penalties at the scrum but it did hold up very well.
2. Dan Sheehan: 7
The 23-year old put in an excellent shift for the most part, as his lineout throwing was perfect while he made plenty of great carries in open play. However, he did miss a crucial tackle on Akira Ioane that led to a try.
1. Andrew Porter: 7
Expecting Porter to put in another star performance after scoring two tries last weekend was probably unfair, although he got through a good number of tackles. He was shown a yellow card for a high tackle, and was perhaps lucky not to see red.
Rob Herring was the stand out replacement, as he scored a crucial try which put Ireland ahead by 10 points with 15 minutes to go. The rest of the replacements showed very cool heads as Ireland were under immense pressure late on, with every man introduced from the bench coming up with some important moments.