Jeff Wilson believes scoreline wasn’t fair reflection of All Blacks win over Ireland

Jeff Wilson believes New Zealand’s 23-point victory against Ireland was not a fair reflection of the amount of pressure they were put under by the Irish.

A nervous quiet had taken hold at Eden Park in the opening 15 minutes of the match, as Ireland had dominated proceedings and scored the first try through Keith Earls after just five minutes.

Jordie Barrett scored a try to open the All Blacks’ account after 20 minutes, and a flurry of tries late in the first half saw New Zealand open up a 23-point lead by the break, all but ending the game as a contest.

Ireland responded well as both sides scored two tries apiece in the second half, although the visitors certainly left scores out there, as two further Irish tries were disallowed while they were also held up over the try line a number of times.

Jeff Wilson on Ireland’s performance against the All Blacks.

All Blacks great Jeff Wilson was speaking on Sky Sports NZ’s The Breakdown and was very complimentary of Ireland despite the one-sided scoreboard.

“We found it really, really difficult to say a bad word about any of the players who were playing in the game. Bottom line, both sides played really, really well,” Wilson said.

“42 to 19 didn’t really reflect the amount of pressure that the All Blacks were under. That’s what’s great because I’m already looking forward to next weekend.

“We’d expect the All Blacks to get better but we know Ireland are going to be better. They were right there for big periods of this game. Look, it’s great and it’s nice to get a win at Eden Park, 48,000 people, great atmosphere, but this was just the beginning.”

Dunedin hosts the second test.

Ireland’s handling caused them issues in the first test, with a loose pass from Garry Ringrose resulting in the All Blacks’ second try, which swung the momentum considerably.

The All Blacks also made some handling errors of course, as the slippery conditions at Eden Park affected both sides, although the weather won’t be an issue this weekend.

Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin plays host to the second test and is a fully indoor venue which obviously lends itself to attacking and ambitious running rugby.

New Zealand are a very dangerous beast when playing in perfect conditions, although Ireland’s intricate backline moves will also be helped by a dry ball, with an exciting game expected on Saturday.

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