Rugby

Ireland mauled by All Blacks

Ireland’s tour of New Zealand ended with a rugby clinic as the All Blacks completed a 3-0 series sweep with a 60-0 win in Hamilton.

 
Ireland mauled by NZ - RugbyReuters
 

Ireland had hoped that a first win over the All Blacks was on the cards following their agonising 22-19 defeat in the second Test, courtesy of Dan Carter's last-minute drop goal.

However Ireland never recovered from an opening blitz from their hosts - with the world champions cutting loose at will to complete a record-breaking victory.

Sam Cane (2), Sonny Bill Williams (2), Ben Smith, Hosea Gear, Liam Messam, Israel Dagg and Adam Thomson all scored tries, while the kicking duties were shared between Aaron Cruden, Dagg and Beauden Barrett.

And the tourists were left completely shell-shocked and simply had no answer to the pace and power of their hosts.

Cane marked his first Test start with a well-worked try after seven minutes, with the All Blacks rewarded for their patience. When the ball did work its way wide, Sonny Bill Willams and Cruden showed good hands to free their Chiefs team-mate for the try. Cruden converted.

The Chiefs connection cut Ireland opened again on 12 minutes for a sensational try. Cruden dummied Sexton before a superb one-handed offload released Williams for the try. Cruden converted.

Williams was over again six minutes later with a simple switch move with Cruden seeing the powerhouse centre crash over. Dagg converted.

The match was all over after 23 minutes when Ben Smith scored in the corner. Ireland were guilty of coughing up possession, allowing Cruden to break - with the All Blacks fly-half drawing the defence and finding Conrad Smith who in turned slipped the ball on to the winger.

That was Cruden's last involvement in the match as he limped off to be replaced by new cap Beauden Barrett.

Worse was to come for Ireland as Rob Kearney was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on right before the break - with Barrett slotting over the penalty.

There was no let-up from New Zealand after the interval as Cane took a superb offload from Aaron Smith to dive over - albeit with a juggle of the ball. Barrett converted to make it 36-0.

Keith Earls will not want to see New Zealand's sixth try again after he was ruthless bumped aside by Gear - with the winger showing great pace on the overlap before powering over.

It wasn't only Earls who was out on his feet, though, with his team-mates looking completely out of it as well - with Messam leaving the tourists in his wake as he scored the seventh try of the match.

The half-century came up on 63 minutes as Dagg scooped up Williams' beautifully weighted grubber to run in unopposed. Barrett converted.

New Zealand's previous record winning margin over Ireland had been 53 points - but they smashed that as replacement powered through to score and Barrett tagged on the extras with seven minutes left.

 - Eurosport
 
 
 
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