Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

Top14 player imposter!

JDV smashed by Benoit August

The Northampton Saints 30m scrum!

Bastareaud huge hit on Rory Lamont

All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard

Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Sunday, November 16, 2008

New Zealand triumph against Ireland at Croke Park

New Zealand overcame an error-prone first half to defeat Ireland 22-3 yesterday and maintain their 22-match unbeaten run against the hosts.

The All Blacks took a decisive 10-3 lead in the final move of the first half at Croke Park. A controversial penalty try was awarded against Tommy Bowe for slapping the ball into touch just as Richie McCaw appeared ready to score.

Referee Mark Lawrence handed him a yellow card to go with it, in what was a decision that is sure to fire up debate around the world for a long time yet.

The numeric advantage didn’t last long for the All Blacks though, as Tony Woodcock was himself yellow carded, early in the second half, for a punch on Rory Best. The punch, to our knowledge, wasn't picked up on camera.

Earlier, an unusually shaky Dan Carter converted just one of three penalty kicks, while Ronan O’Gara nailed his only attempt — a stunning 45m shot in the 38th minute — to make it 3-3.

But tries by Ma’a Nonu and Brad Thorn in the 48th and 53rd minutes put the result beyond reach of the Irish, who lacked attacking bite and who have failed to beat New Zealand since 1905.

Irish captain Brian O’Driscoll said "New Zealand won the field battle and dominated. You can only defend for so long and I thought we got out of jail a bit at times in the first half."

Time: 05:49



  • well it was all looking good for the irish until the yellow card at half time

    By Anonymous ryebye, at November 16, 2008 7:54 pm  

  • ~~ oh and how did Tony Woodcock only get away with a yellow? a punch to the face is a punch is surly a red? its confusing for me as the linesman saw it and reported it. .. but then only surgest a yellow? can a decision like that go from a red (punch to the face) to a yellow due to provication? (leg pulling)

    By Anonymous ryebye, at November 16, 2008 7:56 pm  

  • I watched the whole game and Ireland were outclassed. They never looked like scoring a try and I can't even remember them getting a sustained period of pressure on the All Blacks. The first half was simply a holding operation, but you can't do that for 80 minutes. Ireland were game as usual but you could tell that the All Blacks were simply, bigger, faster and more powerful in the contact areas, especially in the backs where the All Blacks like Nonu and Siviatu shrugged off numeorus tackles. The score did not really reflect NZ's dominance.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at November 16, 2008 8:01 pm  

  • nice

    how about that punch ey?

    By Blogger Don, at November 16, 2008 8:13 pm  

  • We blew that haka away!! i disagreewwith the penalty try it wasnnt in the dead ball area and that ref was inconsistent fromthe start

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 16, 2008 8:17 pm  

  • I thought the ref was fine. Pinged both sides alot, tried to let the game flow. We were just outclassed and played below average, though so did the all blacks

    The punch was caught on camera, the bbc broadcast of the game showed it a few minutes after it happened, it was in the background of a shot, they highlighted and zoomed it. looked nasty enough though as rory was looking the other way and got punched in the face.

    By Blogger Ross, at November 16, 2008 8:30 pm  

  • we really did blow the haka away...the atmosphere was absolutely incredible during the 1st half hour or so!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 16, 2008 8:55 pm  

  • I was a bit of a latecomer to rugby, i've only played it since i joined my secondary school and i instantly began to watch the rugby, i used to be itimidated by the haka when watching it on the screen but now i just dont find it scary, it all looks as though it lost its war dance savagery, now it looks too choreographed, and so it just looks and sounds like a friday night in London.

    By Anonymous coolfordy, at November 16, 2008 8:55 pm  

  • New Zealand completely out played the Irish, im sad to say, but the way some of the all blacks played disgusted me.

    Go watch the game again, keep an eye out for where Soialo and McCaw are at every ruck. They've always been known to toe the line when it comes to rule-breaking but last night was ridiculous.

    I haven't been that angry in ages. More and more players are becoming Specialist "cheaters", these two, George Smith, and looks like Kaino is learning from his mates.

    I've lost all respect for NZ rugby.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 16, 2008 8:58 pm  

  • normally i don't get involved in this but i've had enough of irish moaning and negativity towards the all blacks.

    sore loser anonymous. It's not cheating if the referee allows it. first rugby lesson i learnt was play to the ref and mccaw is the master of it. just get over it.

    no more excuses now - BOD was playing, the game was at croke park, the all blacks are missing loads of top players due to them playing in the Northern Hemisphere and ireland STILL CAME UP SHORT.

    you have always been and for the time being remain, an inferior rugby team. that's it, bottom line.

    By Anonymous felix, at November 16, 2008 9:32 pm  

  • I agree wit felix

    By Anonymous Southern hemisphere, at November 16, 2008 9:55 pm  

  • the tommy bowe yellow card was harsh

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 16, 2008 9:56 pm  

  • ABs are an incredible team, that is stating the obvious, but they also know how to take advantage of the rules, and i really believe that years of all Black domination influences a lot the ref's judgement.

    I believe it will take years before a ref will begin an AB game thinking "both team are equally strong, i will have to focus on every fault"

    Today, I really think the state of mind of the refs is more "AB are too powerfull, they are pushing their opponent to commit fault, i shall watch that"

    Northern emisphere teams have a lot of work to do : they have to regain the refs confidence, so they do not get too harshly judged on the field.

    That means every single match against the AB should have only one goal : proove they are not "that" superior.

    When refs confidence is back again, then it will be easier to win.

    By Anonymous Ulf, at November 16, 2008 10:10 pm  

  • Bowe's yellow card was justified. If he did that on the half way line, just a penalty. Because he prevented a try, he committed a professional foul. Ref had no choice.
    He should have just taken it over the line with him. and conceeded a 5m scrum. The ref might have then blown up for half time cos it was in stoppage time

    By Anonymous Matthew, at November 16, 2008 10:11 pm  

  • The Tony Woodcock punch is shown on BBC sport website on the full game highlights (not gonna put the link, just google "BBC Sport rugby union" and its on the main page).Watch around 12min45sec in if you want to see the actual punch.
    Was lucky to get away with a yellow in my opinion, would have helped if the touchjudge didnt act like a scared boy and reccomended a red card like he should have done.

    By Anonymous Craus_100, at November 16, 2008 10:21 pm  

  • First off the All Blacks were by far the better side and served their win.

    However, did any notice a new tactic that the All Blacks used throughout the game, which I would call "passive obstruction." When the ball is at a ruck and the srum half passes it out, the All Blacks would place two large forwards out in front of their back line and between the Irish backs. Thus the Irish would have to negotiate arouns these forwards and try and tackle the All Blacks. It's not obstruction in the sense of "crossing", but I belive that it is obstruction.

    The All Blacks always come up with new stuff that is borderline. I remember on the 1993 to the UK they used the tactic of slowly walking back to get onside at a ruck with their hands up, always making sure to do so when the scrum half was trying to clear the ball so as to obstruct and delay his pass. Finally, when they played England the ref pinged them for it!

    By Blogger Jonathan, at November 16, 2008 11:05 pm  

  • its just a pleasure to watch the all blacks - so cynical in their attack and always getting over the advantage line. they manage to turn defense into offsense at times throughout the game aswel which causes the momentum to shift in their favour.

    carters face in the haka at 0.30 secs is priceless. not too scary lol

    irish started the game well but could never maintain the intensity the all blacks were dishing over the full 80min.

    i thought sharpe was bad (but he absolutly prooved all his crictics wrong with his england performance) id hate to imagine what paul o'connell is on the receiving end of, poor coaching not to replace him which led to first real all black try and putting the irish out of the game.

    By Anonymous chris ash, syd Aust, at November 16, 2008 11:16 pm  

  • Wales have got to take them on now.

    Oh dear.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 16, 2008 11:33 pm  

  • *****Jonathan said... However, did any notice a new tactic that the All Blacks used throughout the game, which I would call "passive obstruction." ******

    they have been doing this for years and years mate

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 16, 2008 11:45 pm  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Anarchangel, at November 17, 2008 12:06 am  

  • Does anyone have a link to a video of the Woodcock punch that works outside the UK?

    By Blogger Anarchangel, at November 17, 2008 12:08 am  

  • yes yes ireland need to improve a lot!!! but nz are the best side in the world ? then why the f**k are they always cheating anyway ireland need a new coach not some "northern hemisphere bloke" (hope i wrote that right im only 14 !!)they need someone from the south someone who understands nz game. anyway hope they improve vs argentina oh and somebody please answer my comment i live in spain and rd is the only place i can talked to real rugby fans anyway bye!!! jacobo.
    p.s hope to get scouted soon i would love to play in the super 14!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 17, 2008 12:26 am  

  • it's hard for ireland but i think this yellow card was deserved, it was intentional
    anyway AB was the best team on pitch

    didn't see the punch of woodcock

    By Blogger Flooz, at November 17, 2008 12:55 am  

  • As usual, plenty of comments about "cheating". A bit of reality .. every other test side is trying to execute the same kinds of strategies that often push the laws to their limits (which is not the same as cheating), the ABs just do it with more skill, speed, power and smarts .. that's why they currently rank No.1. When another side combines all those things consistently then they might become No.1 .. if it's your team I bet you don't start calling them cheats.
    To say you don't respect a side which dominates all aspects of a test match against tough opponents is to say you don't respect good rugby.
    I think the penalty try was a tough break but once the "penalty" part of it was agreed on by the TMO then the law only says the try has to be "probable" (not "definite") despite what the commentator said, so the rest was inevitable. It's worth saying that NZ were so dominant in the first half that the penalty try was hardly a turning point, O'Driscoll's comment is about right.
    I thought Williams' was unlucky not to be awarded a try in the second half, I've often seen those given.
    I'm a NZer but I'd rather see 2 mins more of football than another haka in such a short video.
    The ABs are getting better as they go but they can be beaten with sharper finishing and a bit of luck, but whatever happens I don't think cheating will have much to do with it.

    By Anonymous robert, at November 17, 2008 2:15 am  

  • does anyone else think a yellow card and a penalty try is a bit harsh?i can see how what bowe did could result in either,but i don't think it merits giving both.i'd say a penalty try would've been the right call.that's just my opinion but i'm irish and possibly biased!
    still it was great to watch the all blacks play,especially in croker.they were extremely powerful in attack and left us constantly stretched because they were drawing so many defenders into the tackle.as for people calling them cheats,i don't know.i'd consider breaking the rules on purpose cheating,but then if you don't get caught there's no reason not to do it.i certainly wouldn't mind if the irish players were as good at it!

    By Anonymous Mark, at November 17, 2008 3:02 am  

  • Southern hemisphere ref making southern hemisphere decisions.

    With all the cheating they do it's odd that a non clear cut offence like that is punished so harshly.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 17, 2008 3:11 am  

  • Still don't like that new haka. It just lacks the rhythm of Ka Mate. Ireland did as expected: put up a brave fight, bashed away but never really came up with the goods offensively. O'Gara is shite up against NZ - he seems so good (from what I read) against NH teams but lacks confidence when he has Nonu and the likes running at him. He can't tackle to save himself.

    Woodcock probably should have been red carded and that penalty try was bitter-sweet. Crap way to get the points. Bring on Wales!!!

    By Anonymous Gaijinmuzz, at November 17, 2008 3:49 am  

  • mark .. "i'd consider breaking the rules on purpose cheating" ... there is a difference between breaking the rules on purpose and playing to the limit of the law .. if the ABs or whoever are consistently cheating and getting away with it as some people suggest, then surely all international referees must be absolute crap. If that's the case then the IRB have a huge problem. Funnily enough most other international players and coaches, people who live the game every day, don't agree with all this cheat stuff about a guy like McCaw, they just know he's a great player.
    The first thing you see on this video is O'Gara wandering around on the wrong side trying his luck, even the commentators suggested he was trying to draw a penalty to hold up the attack. I don't see any comments here about him cheating, and there shouldn't be, he pushed the envelope to no effect and was ignored.
    In a way I agree about the penalty try being harsh but once the refs decided it was a penalty then they didn't have much room to move, they only have to think a try was "probable" if the offence hadn't happened, and they had to give it.

    By Anonymous robert, at November 17, 2008 5:09 am  

  • guess who looks stupid again doing the haka...right, it's ali williams! never saw a player before punching a ball into touch to prevent a try^^ good game.

    By Anonymous R.S., at November 17, 2008 7:39 am  

  • Promising stuff by Fitzgerald; O'Gara was a bit shaky.

    Good show by New Zealand.

    It's a rare occasion that I agree with a referee 100%, and for the most part, Lawrence was fair and let the game flow.

    Anyways, it was a pretty entertaining match, overall.

    By Anonymous Elliot, at November 17, 2008 8:35 am  

  • While normally, I'd be happy to call McCaw a nuisance that I'd like to see dealt with and a bit of a dickhead, but it was actually Ireland that agitated me with a few incidents of unsporstman-like kicking the ball away when a penalty/quick line-out could have been taken by NZ.

    By Anonymous Keogh, at November 17, 2008 9:32 am  

  • I just watched the game, and ersonally it was a bit of a shocker. There was no real flow to the game and NZ didnt really have a good consistance game, maybe trying a few to many moves? As for cheating, if thats how people see it then thats that, but he plays the rules to the line and if the refs dont ping him then keep doing it.
    Refs up here and refs down there are used to ruling 2 different styles of games, the Irish side are profeesionals anf should think if they have a southern ref to lay the rules to the line as well.
    Then they can do what Richie does. Its all about playing to the ref.
    I think all refs need to be pulling out the yellow and red alot more to tidy up the game we saw it againt Scotland and now Ireland.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 17, 2008 10:49 am  

  • The "sore loser" comment wasn't deserved. I said, and I'll repeat it for any tool's who didnt read it the first time, that NZ did deserve to win.

    The whole "playing the ref" thing is something that we've just simply become accustomed to. But if one just takes a step back and looks, it is cheating. They are not following the rules. It's like breaking into some ones house and stealing their things, because no one caught you everything is fine.

    So, for rule breaking, there are consequences. The problem is, that these "rules" are interpreted differently around the world. I believe a meeting should be held do decide that for eg. After 3 penalties of not rolling away after the tackle, its a yellow card. END, FINISH, NO MORE PROFESSIONAL CHEATERS!

    By Anonymous "sore loser anonymous", at November 17, 2008 11:42 am  

  • Oh and I'm not Irish.

    By Anonymous "sore loser anonymous", at November 17, 2008 11:45 am  

  • LOL...

    The Irish win last week against minion CANADA..."O'HAIL THE IRISH"

    The All Blacks win Ireland...different story..."BLOODY ALL BLACK CHEATING BAGGERS" they wail

    Maaan...get a box of tissues and cry on them all y'all whiners.

    By Blogger Don, at November 17, 2008 11:52 am  

  • More importantly, Ali Williams again looks like someone who needs a carer during the Haka.

    By Anonymous Fridge, at November 17, 2008 12:57 pm  

  • i was at the match, my first time seeing the all blacks and i was so annoyed when the crowed completely drowned out the haka :( i was so looking forward to seeing it in real life

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 17, 2008 1:31 pm  

  • Off subject and gonna get shot down for this one...is anyone else tired of watching the haka? As much as I appreciate it from a cultural aspect, if I had to watch some lass dance the Trenchmore before every bloody game I'd shoot myself in the nuts.

    By Anonymous Fred, at November 17, 2008 5:14 pm  

  • The haka isn't solely for the crowd's entertainment for the peps that think it's boring.

    For all the whingers out there just wait three more years then you can jump all over the ABs again when they don't win the world cup. Then you can call all of the AB fans whingers for getting annoyed with the refs calls, food poisoning or whatever happens this time.

    Ireland wasn't in this game at all, a few more points for the ABs wouldn't have gone amiss. However, it's good to see the backs starting to click, maybe the flood gates will open against the unfortunate welsh.

    By Blogger MikeyB, at November 17, 2008 7:34 pm  

  • i will admit ireland rugby has come up short the last few years but we are in no fuckin way inferior now bowe cud have got to that ball with 1 hand gathered it to his chest in the dive instead he slaped it away he should have doted it down it was into injury time 1st half ireland dident spend a lot of time in the all black half and did come up short i was furious with that game im a irish man and i expect the same thing kiwi fans expect when u put on that green shirt u bring ur A-game or don't bothere turnin up simple as the but i taught Kaino was exclent thoughs crunchin tackles but the stamp by quinlan was ok in my opionion if someone is blockin the ball from comeing out ur side of the ruck on ur ball then its the stamp there were a good few shakey calls from the ref at ruck time when the ball poped ot ireland haked trough legaly if its in sight and ur trough the gate then its open season but irelands passing was terrible marcus horan needs to work on that and instead of trying skip passes pass the the person next to u this is new zealand ur agenst they intercepted 3 backline moves i saw but im very impressed with nz's back 3 now its harsh to say we dont give u a run for ur money usualy we do i just taught ireland dident look focoused at all to layed back that needs to be cut out if ur gona put on that jersey u have to play at full pace full power and intelegence i noticed ireland kicked a lot a bit to much we should keep the ball in hand and were down the defence thats wat nz did they wore us down with attack after attack they know if u want to win games u need posesion,teritory ,we need that ball in hand not given back to the oposing team controle posestion of the ball controle the game controle the game then u controle the victor and looser kick on occation put keep the ball a lot more there is no piont kickin for teritory if they win the line out and they run the game also i see ireland tackling big men around the waste thats good but we all know if u take a big fucker regardless of how well built in upper body low he is on the floor take em low but hard to prevent the quick offload

    By Anonymous ciaran, at November 17, 2008 8:37 pm  

  • Anybody heard of a full stop.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 17, 2008 9:03 pm  

  • jesus ciaran - interesting points in there but you neglect to mention that what ireland really need if they are to ever beat the ABs is BETTER PLAYERS.

    also 'sore loser anonymous' playing to the ref and pushing the rules in a rugby game is just like breaking into someones house and burgling it without getting caught....if they know that you are in their house, and you are trying to burgle it, and it's not a major offence, and the police see you but give you a warning and let you get on with it and the person you are burgling knows where your house is, and they are also able to break in and steal your stuff if they are smart enough...... you moron.

    By Anonymous felix, at November 17, 2008 10:25 pm  

  • s.l. anonymous .. you can't have it both ways, either it's cheating or it's differing interpretations. Smart players work out the differences and play accordingly, a team that can't do that isn't playing smart enough. None of this is cheating.

    By Anonymous robert, at November 18, 2008 12:46 am  

  • How has nobody mentioned that O'Gara was shite! Put a green jersey on him and he goes missing. Im not sayin Ireland wer gonna win the AB's wer always favourites and theyt played us off te park but it really aggrivates me that the team is picked to a Munster style of rugby and then O'Gara cant deliver. He should be dropped for the next match because of his performance yet he wont be.

    By Anonymous Daire, at November 18, 2008 1:24 am  

  • I agree with Matthew. The yellow to Ireland was due to the likeliness of the try. To me, the play looked like an intentional vs. accidental knock-on.

    TO diagnose the intentional batting away, look at player's hand.
    Palm up or palm perpendicular to ground implies that no attempt to ground is being made. Palm down or less than perdendicular, means player is trying to ground.

    Player's hand is clearly sideways. In the end, he should have let it go, and either had the AB player risk knocking it on, or concede the try, force DC to convert from the sideline.

    I thought the Irish showed some very positive play. While I thought ROG made some decent kicks, I just never get the sense that Ireland will make a jump in the rankings or win a 6N with him.

    Given that he's 30 now, IRE really need to start showing a higher level prospect. Sub ROG out at 60 mins and give his bench guy a shot. I've never heard of another IRE #10. Maybe I'm out of the loop, maybe it's a measure of just how little depth IRE has at the stand-off position.

    By Blogger Cheyanquí, at November 18, 2008 3:29 pm  

  • No your are right there is really no one coming up through the ranks to pressure ROG and we are suffering big time from it......

    By Anonymous themull, at November 18, 2008 3:41 pm  

  • Well firstly i will say, Ireland were crap, bar Luke and Bod no1 done antin at least decent actually put wallace in there too. And NZ outplayed us... But in sayin this, the comments from felix and southern hemisphere are the reason i hate them. If they leared to respect other teams, as me an irishman respect a great rugby team and country like NZ, alot of people wudn dislike them so much... Just my thoughts:)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 18, 2008 4:08 pm  

  • anonymous said ---If they leared to respect other teams, as me an irishman respect a great rugby team and country like NZ, alot of people wudn dislike them so much -

    but its the NH fans calling the other team cheats every time they lose and so they are the ones not giving respect.
    you got it the wrong way round

    By Anonymous daveyboy, at November 18, 2008 11:43 pm  

  • 'anonymous' i don't think any of my comments here are offensive or disrespectful in anyway. I have plenty of respect for every team. In fact i simply said Ireland came up short - you called them 'crap'. maybe a little more respect for your own team would help lift the general mood in ireland and your boys would start playing with some pride!! until then, they have no chance.

    By Anonymous felix, at November 20, 2008 10:06 pm  

  • bit off topic but have to say felix is a piece of shit

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 21, 2008 6:40 am  

  • The Irish have pride. we've been through troubles where you couldn't be sure that you'd get home if you went shopping without dying. yet we still sing ireland's call to unite everybody. not to mention that people from both ulster and eire play together in the same team, and i'm proud as hell of that. Tell me again that we don't have pride!
    Our problem is that we always have good players (eg Wood, O'Connell, O'Driscoll, Bowe) but we never end up with a good team. Realistically we need a good TEAM like someone the all blacks have. then we have a chance!

    Sorry, but i just get annoyed when people talk about a nation as if it's just one person.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 23, 2008 1:07 pm  

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