Ton-up for Henry as All Blacks down Irish - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ton-up for Henry as All Blacks down Irish

By Julian Guyer 21/11/2010 12:38:21 PM Comments (0)

New Zealand gave Graham Henry his 100th victory as a Test match coach with a 38-18 win over Ireland at Lansdowne Road on Saturday.

All Blacks playmaker Dan Carter landed seven goalkicks from eight, only missing with the final touch of the game, for a match haul of 18 points that left him just two shy of England star Jonny Wilkinson's world record of 1,178 points ahead of next week's tour finale against Wales in Cardiff.

But a win that stretched New Zealand's unbeaten record against Ireland to 23 victories in 24 Tests, with one draw, was anything but straightforward.

The All Blacks were 19-13 ahead at half-time but two converted tries early in the second period, from No 8 Kieran Read and replacement forward Samuel Whitelock, took New Zealand into a 20-point lead at 33-13.

That left Ireland with too much to do, despite a bold flourish in the final quarter and in the final minute Read's second try set the seal on a remarkable achievement for Henry, who has now won 77 Tests with the All Blacks, 22 with Wales and one with the British and Irish Lions.

Carter, having succeeded with all his seven previous goalkicks, was then narrowly off-target to end a match where New Zealand scored four tries, two from Read, to two from Stephen Ferris and Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll.

This result also kept New Zealand on course for a third 'grand slam' in five years following wins over England and Scotland, as well as Ireland, this month.

And it meant both captain Richie McCaw and Mils Muliaina could celebrate a 93rd Test appearance that saw them each become the most-capped All Blacks of all-time, breaking former New Zealand captain Sean Fitzpatrick's record, with a hard-fought success.

"His record speaks for itself," McCaw said of Henry.

"The passion and desire with the players on field comes from the top. Graham puts his heart and soul into it. He thinks ahead and makes it easy for us."

Henry, who saluted flanker McCaw and full-back Muliaina as "outstanding" young men, said: "The Irish put a lot of pressure on us but we responded to that pressure."

Carter, kicked New Zealand into a seventh minute lead only for opposite number Jonathan Sexton to draw Ireland level from the halfway line.

New Zealand's pressure was rewarded by a second Carter penalty before Sexton levelled the scores.

Minutes later Carter eased the All Blacks in front after Ireland wing Luke Fitzgerald was penalised for not rolling away.

But Ireland won the ball from the restart and advanced into New Zealand's 22. No 8 Jamie Heaslip, sent-off when the teams last met during the All Blacks' record 66-28 win in New Plymouth in June, found Ferris, who burst through a gap between Carter and McCaw for a try.

Sexton converted and Ireland were 13-9 in front.

The remorseless Carter though cut Ireland's lead to a point after Ireland collapsed a scrum and New Zealand, having laid siege to the Ireland line, were rewarded when lock Anthony Boric burrowed over for a close range try.

New Zealand, six points up at half-time, then twice caught Ireland cold early in the second half.

First centre Ma'a Nonu and flanker Jerome Kaino sent in Read before McCaw set up Whitelock with a suspiciously forward pass.

But Ireland rallied through a break from Heaslip, who might have done better to carry on rather than waiting for support.

Ireland were at least in New Zealand's 22 and, after opting for a scrum from a penalty, O'Driscoll's superb one-handed pick-up saw the centre score a try.

However Sexton's touchline conversion hit the post.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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