In Dublin a performance over the top of the greens: they dominate the first half but go under, then in the second they recover with Kelleher and Doria and a “bomb” from Carbery closes the score
A huge Ireland defeated the All Blacks 29-20 in Dublin in the match that marked the afternoon of the third weekend dedicated to the Autumn Nations Series. This is the third Irish victory in the last 5 tests played between the two teams after the one in November 2016 in Chicago (the first in history) and the one 3 years ago also in Dublin. At Twickenham, England beat Australia 32-15 and now await world champion South Africa for the rematch of the last world championship final. Springboks who in the first match of the afternoon went on to win 27-15 over Scotland at Murrayfield, thus confirming themselves after the good victory over Wales (23-18) last week.
No skirmishes in Dublin between Ireland and the All Blacks, both of which start at the maximum, playing with crazy intensity. At 12 ‘a rather disheveled intervention with an arm too high on Johnny Sexton’s neck cost the New Zealand hooker Codie Taylor a yellow card. And Ireland immediately took advantage of it: the forwards break through deep into the 22 towards the right, then the game was opened towards the center until the pass with which Bundee Aki fishing very wide James Lowe, who resisted the desperate tackle by Beauden Barrett and crushed the flag left (Sexton misses the transformation), for the perfect conclusion of a combination between the two New Zealanders with the same green jersey. The All Blacks respond with a free-kick from Jordie Barrett and then at 32 ‘find the touchdown goal on 10 meters: ball to Dalton Papalii who takes advantage of a misunderstanding between hooker Ronan Kelleher and second line Tadhg Furlong, gets in the middle and then serves Taylor, who can fly to dunk in the dive (Barrett transforms). Throughout the first half the New Zealanders add up just 23 seconds spent in the 22 opponents, but they close ahead in the score practically only thanks to an almost perfect defense (almost due to an excess of indiscipline that perhaps the referee could have punished even with a another yellow), faced with a total territorial domination of the hosts. The second half opens with the well-deserved Irish goal: a decisive attack that breaks through up to 5 meters thanks above all to the percussion of Lowe and Garry Ringrose, until it is Kelleher, served closely by James Gibson-Park (the other New Zealander in green shirt), to find a very small opening in which to put his big head. A couple of minutes pass and the flanker Caelan Doris receives from a ruck just off 22 and, slicing like butter an unusually distracted New Zealand line, gallops right under the goalposts. Sexton only puts in the second transformation, then also a placed and the Irish are ahead 20-10. But the All Blacks are back in the game immediately with Rieko Ioane’s splendid assist for Will Jordan’s sprint to goal (Barrett transforms). Two minutes later Sexton puts in a place, in the 69th minute the Jordie Barrett, then in the 74th minute Carbery (who took over from Sexton) makes one from halfway which keeps his at +6. The match is decided in the 79th minute: the All Blacks try to restart from their half of the pitch, but a few meters after 22 the man in the black jersey is captured by those in green and Tadhg Beirne conquers the outfit that allows Carbery to put the easy placed 29-20. The All Blacks in the last match of the Series will challenge France in Paris, while next Saturday Ireland will also host Argentina in Dublin.
At Twickenham James O’Connor unlocks it on a set, but the hosts hit the big target in the 8th minute: ball out of the fray, from Owen Farrell to Marcus Smith (who have reversed their positions for a moment), half step and fast and close ball for Freddie Steward, he arrives from behind launched like an arrow, slips into space, jumps the last defender and flies to the goal (the first in the national team in 3 appearances for the extreme). Owen Farrell transforms it and between 13 ‘and 18’ also slips 2 placed places. At 21 ‘O’Connor hits the target from central position, then in the half hour Australian winger Tom Wright hits the head of hooker Jamie George with a shoulder: yellow card and goalposts for Farrell who signs on 16-9. Just before the break, however, it’s still up to O’Connor, who after an infringement by Maro Itoje scores again at the start of the second half for the -1. At 48 ‘dangerous tackle by Australian prop Angus Bell on Courtney Lawes, another yellow card and 3 points for Farrell, who then, from a simple position for him, unexpectedly sent wide on 54’. The English center makes up for it shortly after on the free kick won by the scrum, but then comes out with a problem in his left ankle. So at 73 ‘the task of the pitch is up to Smith: the young Harlequins opening does not get excited and signs the +10 which in fact closes the accounts. And with time expired the second goal also arrives: a beautiful Australian restart that overturns the field, but then Len Ikitau combines the omelette by giving the ball to Sam Simmonds who runs away on the left side, attracts the defender on himself and then yields the ‘oval for the race of hooker Jamie Blamire, who obviously is not lightning, but who has so much advantage that he can make it to the finish safe and sound, with Smith transforming and bringing down the curtain. In a week’s time in Twickenham the rematch of the world championship final two years ago will take place, when the world champion South Africa arrives. Australia will instead close its international November in Cardiff with Wales.
After an excellent start in South Africa, which refuses a couple of times that can be placed in the 22 opponents to look for the big target, only to have to eat his hands for the wasted possessions, in Murrayfield the result is a Finn Russell free-kick from 40 meters at 18 ‘, which interrupts Scotland’s very long period of defensive suffering. Russell who two minutes later could do an encore, but kicks wide. So in the 24th minute after yet another Scottish infringement, Elton Jantjies decides to go for the poles from a central position and equalizes. And at 29 ‘the well-deserved goal arrives: game open to the left, Damian de Allende serves Siya Kolisi who in turn, with the Scots who fail to slip in time, gives it to the winger Makazole Mapimpi, who slips away at the tackle and takes off impregnable. The goal suffered, however, shakes the hosts, who finally light up and at 35 ‘crown a beautiful possession in attack with Stuart Hogg: after a series of beautiful exchanges along the left side, with Duhan van der Merwe who and Chris Harris protagonists, a South African manages to touch, but on the loose ball the extreme hurls himself, who at that point has the road wide open to fly right under the goalposts. Russell converts, but then misses a not impossible place before the break. It is a delightful assist from de Allende, after a nice break in acceleration that splits the Scottish defensive line, to free Mapimpi’s left run, who signs the brace in the 43rd minute (Jantjes transforms). The South African opening then signs the 18-10, but at 58 ‘Hogg reopens it: a deep ruck in the 22 near the left sideline, the game quickly opened towards the center of the field to explore the numerical superiority, quick hands of Russell and van der Merwe and assist at the extreme for the race in goal (Russell, however, still misses the transformation). Handre Pollard (who took over from Jantjies) misses a place in the 66th minute, but two minutes later he signs the +9 one, then in the 71st minute Frans Steyn’s half-court also arrives, crowning the clear superiority in the ground game of the champions of world. And at 78 ‘that of Pollard sets the final 30-15. For Scotland, therefore, comes the stop after the great success over Australia (15-13) and in a week will host Japan.
November 13 – 20:51
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