Chicago 2016.

New – Click for the video doc, “4 Days in November“.

What and Incredible Trip it was!

I got to see Ireland defeat the New Zealand All Blacks for the fichic1first time. It is pretty incredible to believe that it took 111 years and 29 attempts. There is no doubt that the All Blacks of New Zealand are the best team in the world, but Ireland are not that bad. Ireland has consistently stay in the world top 10 of rugby but have not been able to beat the mighty ABs.

USA Eagles V Maori All Blacks at Toyota Park
USA Eagles V Maori All Blacks at Toyota Park

First on the weekend agenda was the Maori All Blacks V the USA Eagles. The MABs made short work of a brave Eagles side. Final score, USA Eagles 7, Maori All Blacks 54. Match report here.

The game started with Ireland in confident mood, pushing the ABs at every moment. Ireland got on the board first when Johnny Sexton kicked a penalty after four minutes.

New Zealand hit back immediately with the opening try of the game. Out-half Beauden Barrett missed the conversion. New Zealand lead 5-3.

All Black prop Joe Moody was issued a yellow for a dangerous tackle on Robbie Henshaw, a similar tackle that saw Keith Earls red carded 2 weeks before.

Ireland were quick to capitalize on the man advantage to score a try by Jordi Murphy. Conversion by Johnny Sexton made it 10-5.
Ireland continued the onslaught. Sexton’s up and under was taken by Rob Kearney Kearney wriggled his way to two yards short of the try line. CJ Stander used his immense leg strength to power over the line to
score. Ireland lead 15-5. Sexton missed the conversion.

An Off-side by Ireland was punished with another 3 points by Beauden Barrett. Johnny Sexton scored another penalty soon after. Ireland lead 18-8.

Jordi Murphy was taken off with a nasty knee injury that is predicted to keep him away from rugby for about 9 weeks. He was replaced by Leinster’s Josh van der Flier.

Great vision by scrum-half Conor Murray had him dodge around Aaron Smith to score again for Ireland. Sexton converted 25-8 to Ireland at halftime.

New Zealand came out of half time with all pistons firing.  but it was Ireland who scored next. Another attacking lineout from Ireland took them close to the New Zealand line and quick ball found Sexton who fed Simon Zebo for 30-8.

New Zealand were in top form scoring 2 tries in 10 minutes. the score now is 30-22.

Conor Murray kicked another penalty to put Ireland 33-22 ahead but new Cap (and brother of Beauden), Scott Barrett reached over for a try in the 64th minute. After the successful conversion kicked by Beauden, the score is now 33-29.

With only 4 points between the teams and the ABs in the ascendency, it was a nervous time for the Irish faithful. Ireland had come so close to beating the ABs in some recent encounters, particularly the painful defeat in Dublin in 2013.

Then, with 6 minutes to go, Ireland win a scrum at their 10 yard line. The ball goes all the way out to Simon Zebo on the far wing. Zebo boots the ball down

Me and my brothers Barry and Liam after the final whistle at Soldier Field
Me and my brothers Barry and Liam after the final whistle at Soldier Field

deep into the AB 22 and some indecisiveness by the AB defenders, has the ball being passed back to an out of position, Arde Savea, was nailed by a speeding Conor Murray in the try zone to force an Irish 5 meter scrum.

The scrum was expertly controlled by Jamie Heaslip who picked up the ball and ran and angle towards the middle of the field, This drew out the defenders allowing a racing Robbie Henshaw to crash over for the game winning try.

The conversion was made by Joey Carbury to make the final score Ireland 40, New Zealand 29.

Tries here.

4 Days in November

Get behind-the-scenes with the Fly-on-the-wall documentary that follows the Irish rugby team through their recent November 2016 Series. Chronicles the famous victories against New Zealand, Canada and Australia. With the introduction of a host of younger players who made their mark across the series. Viewers will also have the opportunity to hear first-hand accounts from the … Continue reading 4 Days in November

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Ireland defeat NZ

At Last! An unbelievable match – and I was there! Ireland 40, New Zealand All Blacks 29 All the Tries.    

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Maori ABs V USA

Maori New Zealand beat USA Eagles 54-7

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Team are on the way to Chicago.

Promotional video for All Blacks match. Can the boys do it this time?

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Squad announced for Chicago match – Six Uncapped Players

Schmidt names six rookies for Autumn Internationals. Joe Schmidt will give youth its fling this autumn after six uncapped players in his panel for the upcoming November Internationals. Leinster quartet James Tracy, Luke McGrath, Garry Ringrose and Joey Carbery, as well as Munster’s Billy Holland and John Ryan are all on the plane for the … Continue reading Squad announced for Chicago match – Six Uncapped Players

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Heaslip eager to tick New Zealand off ‘to do’ list

The plaudits that came Ireland’s way for getting within seconds of beating New Zealand three years ago mean nothing to Jamie Heaslip. Source: Heaslip eager to tick New Zealand off ‘to do’ list

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