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Clinical New Zealand ease past Ireland at Eden Park

New Zealand 42-19 Ireland: The All Blacks run in six attempts to take an all-out win over Andy Farrell’s side…as they set a marker in the opening game of the three-game series

  • Ireland led the way early in Eden Park with a well-crafted effort from Keith Earls
  • New Zealand responded, scoring four tries in the first half to open a dominant lead
  • The All Blacks added two more tries after the break to seal a decisive win
  • The two sides will meet in two more matches in the coming weeks

Ireland capitulated after a strong start, losing captain Johnny Sexton to injury as clinical New Zealand took an emphatic 42-19 first test win in Auckland.

Keith Earls scored his 35th international try within six minutes when Andy Farrell’s side flew out of the blocks at a sold-out Eden Park, but things quickly unraveled on a penalty night.

Ardie Savea took two of the ruthless All Blacks’ six scores, with Jordie Barrett, Sevu Reece, Quinn Tupaea and debutant Pita Gus Sowakula also intersecting.

Ardie Savea scored a try in both halves to give New Zealand a comprehensive win

Ardie Savea scored a try in both halves to give New Zealand a comprehensive win

Sevu Reece ran from his own half to score an interception attempt for New Zealand in the first half

Sevu Reece ran from his own half to score an interception attempt for New Zealand in the first half

New Zealand was clinical, scoring a total of six attempts to overtake Ireland

New Zealand was clinical, scoring a total of six attempts to overtake Ireland

Influential fly-half Sexton was forced out in the wake of Reece’s escape attempt and later failed a head injury assessment to make a miserable outing.

Ireland, who made the score more respectable thanks to scores in the second half from Garry Ringrose and New Zealand-born Bundee Aki, paid a heavy price for repeated defensive errors and faced an arduous task to save the series.

The win for the physical hosts avenged their November 29-20 defeat in Dublin, maintaining their impressive 28-year unbeaten run in a stadium turned fortress.

Irish head coach Farrell also saw Joey Carbery and Josh Van Der Flier each denied certain attempts due to outstanding interventions from All Blacks center Rieko Ioane.

The Englishman must quickly keep his despondent squad afloat for next week’s encounter in Dunedin, for which he is likely to miss Sexton.

Keith Earls had cornered to give Ireland an early lead at Eden Park

Keith Earls had cornered to give Ireland an early lead at Eden Park

Things went wrong quickly, however, as Johnny Sexton had to run off with a head injury

Things went wrong quickly, however, as Johnny Sexton had to run off with a head injury

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