A historic first and a mainstay that offers a double but also card scores and a captain in danger … Find the Tops and Flops of the second test-match of the summer tour between New Zealanders and Irish (12 -23 ).
A historic first for Clover’s XV
Six years after defeating the All-Blacks for the first time in Chicago (40-29), Ireland offered themselves the first victory in their history on New Zealand soil after an epic duel that dominated in the wide open. (12-23). Andy Farrell’s men, who were the spirits of the three-time world champions in recent years, managed to dominate them for the fourth time thanks to a remarkable performance by their later leaders Henshaw and Sexton, but also by strikers O’Mahony, Beirne and Furlong. Sweeping Auckland last Saturday (19-42), Clover’s XV can therefore dream of winning the tour in the third and final round next Saturday in Wellington. An extremely rare performance that no nation in the northern hemisphere has managed to achieve since the 15th century in France in 1994.
Sexton carries his
After his concussion during the first test match, Jonathan Sexton was legitimately uncertain and his tenure kept making people talk. As the 80 minute approached, the Irish captain recalled how essential he was and how he knew how to play behind him. Surgical against the posts (5/5, 13 points), the first goal also knew how to be accurate in the game at the foot of the occupation and very important in his role as leader. Two days before his 37th birthday, Jonathan Sexton has also surpassed the 1,000-point mark with the Irish jersey and is close to Ronan O’Gara’s record (1,083 points).
In power, Porter sees double
Strong man of the Irish herd, ultra-dominant throughout the match, pillar Andrew Porter managed to score a double in strength (3rd, 48th), at the end of long pick-and-go sequences. Two historical essays that he is not about to forget.
Indiscipline, the scourge of New Zealand
A first nightmare act. Unrecognizable in the first period, the All Blacks received no more and no less than three cards in the space of 15 minutes. Leicester Fainga’anuku first got carried away trying to counter a match at the feet of Mack Hansen, whom he then illegally charged (16th). Nine minutes later, Ofa Tu’ungafasi also received a yellow cracker after a ballless entry to Garry Ringrose (25th). But the All Blacks ’over-commitment doesn’t stop there.
At the end of the first period, the Angus Ta’avao pillar looks red after a very dangerous entry and directly at the head of Ringrose himself. Surprisingly, the Irish center-back will not recover and is replaced by Bundee Aki. In total, four cards were dealt as among the Irish, James Ryan drew a yellow card at 39 for not playing. The trend did not reverse when they returned from the locker room, as the number of penalties whistled against them rose to 18. An abnormal defect for Ian Foster’s men, who next Saturday will have to show a completely different face, will want to wait win the tour.
Sam Cane, shipwrecked captain
The All Blacks ’third line crossed the game like a shadow. In the face of Clover’s XV, Sam Cane never managed to remobilize his troops when the black boat launched in the first half hour, with multiple fouls and three cards received by his teammates. Penalized three times, the New Zealand captain is the symbol of New Zealand’s defeat and runs the risk of being criticized by critics over the next week. A questioned captaincy?
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