Ireland 24 New Zealand 28 - as it happened

Updates from the Stade de France as Ireland look to win a World Cup quarter-final for the first time ever


Ireland 24 New Zealand 28


We’ll leave it there for this blog. Stay tuned for Gerry Thornley’s match-report. Goodnight all.


Here are the player ratings from Johnny Watterson


The utterly frustrating thing for everyone in the stadium and what provides legs for the conspiracy theorists is that World Rugby’s coverage in stadiums remains shockingly poor. There is no point in them saying that two thousand other angles were available to the TMO when everyone who has paid money to attend the game is short-changed.

—  John O'Sullivan on the quick decision to not card Richie Mo'unga for a potential high hit on Bundee aki


Another thing to note. Johnny Sexton’s career ends tonight. He played 80 minutes tonight when he looked gassed after 60.

He is on the pitch at the Stade de France with his children, all in tears.


This try from Jordan was the killer. Not long after an Irish penalty try to narrow the gap to one, Sheehan and van der Flier get caught in the defensive line. Mo’unga breaks and feeds Jordan. It was a first phase strike, a Joe Schmidt special perhaps, but for it to come down to a basic communication error and missed tackle is so unlike both Ireland and the individuals involved.


1 min: Here we go then. Johnny Sexton has the ball and launches it high into the Parisian sky as Wayne Barnes blows his whistle. Down it comes just short of the 22 and Lowe makes the first hit on Retallick. Porter gives away an early penalty for playing the ball off his feet. Nerves are palpable. Barrett shanks the kick to barely make 5m when he finds touch.


As brilliant as New Zealand were, it’s difficult to look past a missed tackle that led to the Will Jordan try. It’s difficult to look past the lineout issues of the first half, and it’s difficult to look passed New Zealand’s more accurate work at the breakdown.

Those are all facets of the game that Ireland could control. They did not deliver in those areas as well as they have previously in the Andy Farrell era, and that’s ultimately the difference.


Ireland are stunned. It was a supreme performance from the All Blacks. Their defence turned up when it mattered in that last set. No line breaks and despite Ireland inching their way forward, they had the turnover when it mattered.

Leading up to it, New Zealand managed the last 10 minutes beautifully. They hung onto the ball, were accurate with their breakdown work and kicked at the right time to prevent Ireland from getting out of their 22.

At the end of the day, that tackle from Jordie Barrett to hold Ronan Kelleher up over the line is the difference between the two sides.



Ireland’s quarter-final heartache goes on. Ireland made 50 metres in nearly 30 phases of attack, but the All Blacks hold firm. It’s their most capped player, Sam Whitelock, who gets in over the ball, Ireland miss the clear and the penalty is given.

A cracker of a match, but Ireland’s dream is dead.


80 mins: Clock in the red. Ireland have the ball right on the 22. They need to score a try.


79 mins: Ireland finally get the ball. They’ve inched their way over the halfway line but this NZ line looks nigh on impenetrable.


76 mins: Barrett goes for a speculative drop-goal from halfway. It’s nowhere close, but still pins Ireland deep inside their own half.


75 mins: New Zealand are managing this game beautifully. They eke out the remaining time on the sin-bin before going to a box kick. O’Brien does well to gather but such is the chase that he’s immediately shunted into touch.


HELD-UP! Kelleher is over the line at the back of a rolling maul but Barnes says he didn’t get it down. Jordie Barrett gets underneath, what a piece of defence. To make matters worse, Doris spills the goal-line drop. Ireland go from inches from the Kiwi line to defending a scrum back towards halfway.


71 mins: Huge chance for Ireland. Of all people, Sexton makes a break off kick return. Murray kicks ahead, Barrett gets it but Aki is straight in over the ball to win the penalty. Sexton goes to the corner.


70 mins: This time Jordie Barrett makes no mistake from the 10m line. Ireland need a try.


69 mins: Ireland shoot themselves in the foot again. Keenan takes it in the air brilliantly and is taken out by Barrett. However, Barrett was impeded on the chase by Murray. It’s marginal, there isn’t a lot of contact but it’s enough for Barnes to blow his whistle. Barrett has a much easier kick now.


66 mins: Another scrum penalty for New Zealand. Again, Ireland get a shove on and, again, Barnes isn’t happy with the angle of the drive. It’s a long-range kick, 10m in from touch just on the Irish side of halfway, but Jordie Barrett is going to have a shot.

BARRETT HAS MISSED! He’s pulled it to the left as Ireland get away with one.


65 mins: Ireland think they have a turnover as Kelleher gets his hands over the ball. He does have it, but can only spill forward. Barnes could have given a holding on penalty, but he doesn’t. New Zealand scrum and they have to sacrifice Retallick to bring on a hooker, Dane Coles, with Taylor in the bin.


PENALTY TRY IRELAND: Ireland’s lineout maul makes rapid ground and New Zealand haul it to ground. Barnes runs straight under the posts, penalty try and, crucially, Codie Taylor is in the bin.

Ireland are down by a point and will play against 14 men for 10 of the remaining 16 minutes.


63 mins: Ireland finally have a line break as Lowe puts Keenan through a gap. The ball is in the 22 but play has slowed up. A penalty comes as Whitelock fails to roll away. Ireland go to the corner.

Farrell has a decision to make. Sexton is clearly out of gas, does he turn the keys over to Crowley?


61 mins: Ireland make a break down the right via O’Brien but that’s as far as they go. Sexton tries a chip and chase but a diving Jordie Barrett manages to catch and call for the mark.

Conor Murray is on for Jamison Gibson-Park


58 mins: Decision time for Ireland. Ioane is pinned in the ruck, somewhat cynically, but Barnes buys it and pings him for not rolling away. Sexton has another call between posts or corner and he calls for the tee.

HE’S MISSED IT! Sexton pulls it out to the left. What a miss that is.

Changes made, Joe McCarthy and Jack Conan are on, Iain Henderson and Josh van der Flier are off.


57 mins: Ireland get out of jail. Gibson-Park tries a long, wide ball but it’s intercepted by Smith. He has a clear run to the line but mercifully for Ireland, he slips and is grappled back to deck.


56 mins: Ireland go wide on first phase but New Zealand don’t bite and Hansen has to kick ahead. Barrett makes a mess of the clearance, meaning Ireland have a lineout right on the 22.

However, there are concerns for Hansen who is getting treatment on the calf he injured last week.

Hansen is gone. He limps off and Jimmy O’Brien enters the fray.


TRY WILL JORDAN: He loves scoring against Ireland and he’s done it again. A first phase strike right. Ireland miss the tackle on Mo’unga who breaks the line. Sheehan and van der Flier get disconnected, leaving open the hole. He feeds Jordan on the outside who scores in the corner despite the best efforts of Keenan.

Jordie Barrett drills the touchline conversion and New Zealand have a two score lead.


52 mins: Wow. New Zealand take Ireland through the phases and Ireland get away with one as Porter pilfers a ball while in the side. Wayne Barnes lets play continue and Ireland break down the flank through Keenan and Lowe. They look dangerous in the 22 but Henderson then is isolated and Savea wins the penalty. Scintillating stuff from both sides.


48 mins: Porter is penalised at the scrum again. It’s the scrumming angle again, Barnes telling him his hips swung out to the side. Barrett kicks down the line.


47 mins: WHAT A CHANCE! New Zealand have no cover out wide and Ireland exploit it again with a kick. Hansen’s kick is pinpoint accurate but it bounces over the head of Sheehan. An inch lower and that would have hit his hands in stride and he would have scored in the corner.

Aaron Smith is back on and New Zealand are back up to 15 men.


45 mins: Well we don’t often see that from Ireland. They obviously recognised that Mo’unga defends out wide in the 22 and look to exploit with a box kick from inside the 22. O’Mahony has the height advantage on the outhalf and gets up over him, but can’t hang on. That would have been a score if he clung on. NZ survive with a 5m scrum.


43 mins: Hansen wastes a dangerous first phase strike by kicking straight into an All Black jersey. He makes up for it though with a 50:22 moments later, chipping from just inside his own half. Not sure he had that in mind giving he was chasing the kick, but he’ll take it.


41 mins: We’re back underway in Paris. Barrett kikcs into the 22 and Gibson-Park clears. New Zealand have it on halfway.


Ireland will be very encouraged that, after solving the breakdown problems of the first ten minutes, whenever they take the All Blacks through the phases they look like scoring.

Playing keep-ball works. The kicking game has also been good, as has the kick chase. The problem is New Zealand’s attacking kicks in the middle of the park. Those chip and chases are causing havoc. Blocking that off and sorting the lineout will go a long way to securing victory.






If Ireland had a functioning lineout, they could be two scores up. Their phase play is causing New Zealand no end of issues, granted, poor attacking breakdown work in the first few minutes cost them dear. The All Blacks’ second score came directly from a poor Irish set-piece, while the other try was Kiwi counter-attack at its brilliant best.

Encouraging from an Irish point of view that they are still in it despite the issues, but they need sorting ASAP.

The Smith yellow card certainly helps the cause.


HALF-TIME: Ireland 17 New Zealand 18


TRY JAMISON GIBSON-PARK: Ireland hit back. O’Mahony takes the lineout, it doesn’t gain much ground. Gibson-Park snipes and beats three Kiwi defenders to score. Another excellent finish. Sexton adds the extras and it’s a one-point game.


38 mins: Another penalty comes as Savea plays it through the side. He’s lucky to not see a card too, that was cynical. Sexton goes back to the corner.


37 mins: Ireland have a penalty off a line break, deliberate knock-on after a break from Hansen. The TMO wants to check card and potential penalty try...

YELLOW CARD: Aaron Smith is in the bin for the deliberate knock. Hansen’s offload to Gibson-Park would have led to a chance. There was cover so no penalty try. Sexton with another huge all , turning down a surefire 3 for a lineout in the corner. Ireland’s lineout has been poor so far.


TRY ARDIE SAVEA: New Zealand strike back. The lost lineout allows New Zealand to get into the 22 and score. Ioane gets over the gainline on first phase and from there they can’t hold up the momentum, allowing Savea to score in the corner. Mo’unga misses the wide conversion.


32 mins: Another New Zealand kick causes problems. Ireland lose the lineout, again, and Jordan sticks his head up and launches a 50:22. All Black ball 10m from the Ireland line.


31 mins: New Zealand’s short kicking game is causing havoc. This time Savea gathers a chip from Mo’unga and it takes a fantastic tackle from Gibson-Park to both stop him, and then prevent the offload. Doris then gets in over the ball to win the penalty and relieve the pressure when the All Blacks had a big overlap.


TRY BUNDEE AKI: Ireland are back in it. Phases in the 22 again, this time it comes to fruition. Lowe feeds Aki with a long pass but it’s poor. He has to stop to gather above his head and has no momentum. No matter, an inside step takes Ioane and Frizell out of the game before he powers his way over. Individual brilliance. Sexton converts and the gap is back to 3.


25 mins: CHANCE! Sexton kicks through a loose ball and sprints towards the goal-line. Barrett beats him to it and it’s a goal-line drop. All this came after another lost Ireland lineout, that is becoming an issue.


24 mins: Ireland get two penalties, one for Retallick playing a man off the ball and then another for de Groot not releasing the carrier. We’ll have a pause though because Wayne Barnes has lost contact with his TMO. Aki looked to be hit high by Mo’unga but the TMO says no foul-play.


21 mins: Ireland get a freebie straight off the restart. Frizell takes Keenan out as he tries to compete for the restart and Barnes spots it. Sexton has a penalty straight in front of the posts. Ireland just need to get onto the board which they do, via the boot of the captain.


TRY NEW ZEALAND: Ireland find themselves under their own posts. Barrett with a chip and chase starts it all. Lowe brings him down but the ball is quick and there are numbers out wide. Rieko Ioane ultimately finds Fainga’anuku in the corner. There are questions about if the last pass is forward, but the try stands. Mo’unga slots the extras from out wide.


17 mins: Ireland lose the ball inside the 22 once again. It’s a brilliant break from Hansen and Ringrose down the flank, combining with Gibson-Park to get into the 22. Ireland build the phases but Retallick ultimately gets in over an isolated carrier and turns it over. New Zealand clear, but Ireland have a lineout just outside the 22. The attack doesn’t last long, Cane getting over the ball. Ireland’s breakdown is a mess currently.


13 mins: Doris is smashed back on first phase and Savea is straight in over the ball. Penalty New Zealand. They have definitely started the better of the two sides. Jordie Barrett will try a long-range penalty from halfway.

He pushes it out to the right but draws it back nicely, Ireland are six-points down.


12 mins: Doris loses it in contact but is fortunate as it pops straight into Gibson-Park’s hand. He tries for a 50:22 but doesn’t get the bounce. Mo’unga gathers and does well under pressure, dummying past Hansen before feeding Barrett for a good clearance.


11 mins: Mistake from Ireland. Keenan throws an offload to Lowe but it’s over his head and into touch. It may have flicked a black jersey on the way through but New Zealand get the throw.


9 mins: For the first time in the match, Ireland get their hands on the ball. Sexton throws a wide ball to Ringrose who is very isolated. Fortunately for him, Savea plays the ball off his feet. Sexton makes a bold call and goes to the corner instead of the posts.


8 mins: Mo’unga opens the scoring. It’s an easy penalty from in front of the posts.


6 mins: New Zealand have gone 25 phases in the Irish half but have made limited yards. This is immense defence and crucially, no penalties given away yet. Eventually Mo’unga goes to the air under advantage but Jordan can’t gather. Beirne giving away the penalty for not rolling away.


3 mins: Ireland have the shove on at the scrum but illegally so. Porter doesn’t drive straight and that’s two early penalties given away by Ireland’s looshead.


2 mins: It is nervy. Smith has made two passes and both have hit the deck. Mo’unga then launches a high bomb which is once again shanked. Ireland try to gather possession but spill. New Zealand have the first scrum of the evening.


Here we go then. Here come the teams at the Stade de France. As with earlier’s quarter-final, there is a minute’s silence for those who died in Israel and Palestine.

Ireland’s call is loud and Andrew Porter is in tears.

Allez les verts rings out at the Stade de France ahead of the haka. As they did when lining up to face the haka at Soldier Field in 2016, Ireland form a figure of eight in response. Now the fields are belted out, it is loud.


Oh to be a fly on the wall


It’s raining in Paris. Not sure which of the two sides that suits, if any...


Both side’s path to the quarter-finals:


Won 82-8 vs Romania

Won 59-16 vs Tonga

Won 13-8 vs South Africa

Won 36-14 vs Scotland

New Zealand

Lost 13-27 vs France

Won 71-3 vs Namibia

Won 96-17 vs Italy

Won 73-0 vs Uruguay



“When Andy Farrell and Johnny Sexton declared two years ago that everything they did was geared toward the World Cup, they could hardly have envisaged arriving at this point in better nick.”

—  Gerry Thornley in his match preview




Of course, make sure you join our Twitter space later on tonight to hear from Gordon D’Arcy and John O’Sullivan, who are at the match, to hear their thoughts shortly after full-time.


Another preview piece for you. Gerry Thornley looks at the three New Zealand-born players in Ireland starting XV, their journeys across the world and how the Irish system polished them into internationals.


One for the tactics/stats gurus. Here are ploys Ireland can adopt to nullify the All Blacks.


As for the All Blacks, they dropped a bit of a bombshell on everyone in the build-up by dropping wing Mark Telea after an unspecified breach of team protocol. Yep, that Mark Telea who scored a double vs France, dropped on the eve of a World Cup knockout for which the All Blacks are not favourites...

Anyway, Leicester Fainga’anuku starts instead of him in the backthree. Up front, the big call is captain Sam Cane starting ahead of Dalton Papali’i in the backrow. Tyrel Lomax is also fit to line out at tighthead.

NEW ZEALAND: Beauden Barrett; Will Jordan, Rieko Ioane, Jordie Barrett, Leicester Fainga’anuku; Richie Mo’unga, Aaron Smith; Ethan de Groot, Codie Taylor, Tyrel Lomax; Brodie Retallick, Scott Barrett; Shannon Frizell, Sam Cane (capt), Ardie Savea.

Replacements: Dane Coles, Tamaiti Williams, Fletcher Newell, Samuel Whitelock, Dalton Papali’i, Finlay Christie, Damian McKenzie, Anton Lienert-Brown.


Let’s start with the teams. Ireland name an unchanged XV from the side that beat Scotland, with Mack Hansen and James Lowe both passed fit to line out on the wing. However, in the pack, James Ryan has an injured hand/wrist and is replaced by Joe McCarth.

IRELAND: Hugo Keenan; Mack Hansen, Garry Ringrose, Bundee Aki, James Lowe; Johnny Sexton (capt), Jamison Gibson-Park; Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, Tadhg Furlong; Tadhg Beirne, Iain Henderson; Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris.

Replacements: Ronan Kelleher, Dave Kilcoyne, Finlay Bealham, Joe McCarthy, Jack Conan, Conor Murray, Jack Crowley, Jimmy O’Brien


It’s here. The biggest day of Irish rugby history so far has arrived as Andy Farrell and co seek a first every Rugby World Cup semi-final berth. All that stands in there way? The All Blacks. The side that knocked Ireland out of the last World Cup with a quarter-final drubbing seeks to do it again and break Irish hearts.

With kick-off at 8pm, we’ll be building up to the action from now with preview features, interviews and stats over the next two hours.