Home November Internationals Preview – Ireland vs New Zealand

Preview – Ireland vs New Zealand


One of the most anticipated games this year will take place at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin this Saturday as the 2nd ranked Ireland take on the number 1 ranked and current World champions, New Zealand.

Ireland and New Zealand last clashed heads in 2016 where Ireland famously beat the All Blacks 40-29 in Chicago before losing at home in Dublin two weeks later 9-21.

The closest Ireland came to a home victory over the All Blacks was back in 1973 when they were able to hold the AB’s to a 10-all draw at the famous Lansdowne road and they will be looking for their first home victory against the AB’s.

Just like last weekend against Argentina, Ireland will be looking at IRB Player of the Year Nominee, Jonathan Sexton, to keep up his good form and guide his team through the game as he has done the whole season with great success.

He will have a tough battle on his hands against back-to-back IRB Player of the Year, Beauden Barrett, who always seems to lift his game to a new level as soon as he wears the black jersey.

The AB’s will also be looking at a match winning performance from Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock who will be playing their 50th test as a locking pair.

The All Blacks only made one forced change to the starting line up with Ryan Crotty replacing Sonny Bill Williams who is out with an AC joint injury.

Ireland has made four changes with Rob Kearney back for his first game since the June internationals. Garry Ringrose is in for Robbie Henshaw and two changes up front with Devin Toner in for Iain Henderson and Dan Leavy replacing the injured Sean O’Brien.

Prediction: Ireland will have to keep the All Blacks under pressure for 80min to give themselves a chance. It will be a close game with the AB’s taking it in the last 10-15min. AB’s to win it by 8-10points


Ireland: 15. Rob Kearney, 14. Keith Earls, 13. Garry Ringrose, 12. Bundee Aki, 11. Jacob Stockdale,
10. Jonathan Sexton, 9. Kieran Marmion, 8. CJ Stander, 7. Dan Leavy, 6. Peter O’Mahony,
5. James Ryan, 4. Devin Toner, 3. Tadhg Furlong, 2. Rory Best(C), 1. Cian Healy

Replacements: 16. Sean Cronin, 17. Jack McGrath, 18. Andrew Porter, 19. Iain Henderson, 20. Josh van der Flier, 21. Luke McGrath, 22. Joey Carbery, 23. Jordan Larmour

All Blacks: 1. Karl Tu’inukuafe, 2. Codie Taylor, 3. Owen Franks, 4. Sam Whitelock, 5. Brodie Retallick, 6. Liam Squire, 7. Ardie Savea, 8. Kieran Read(C), 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Beauden Barrett, 11. Rieko Ioane, 12. Ryan Crotty, 13. Jack Goodhue, 14. Ben Smith, 15. Damian McKenzie

Replacements: 16. Dane Coles, 17. Ofa Tuungafasi, 18. Nepo Laulala, 19. Scott Barrett, 20. Matt Todd, 21. TJ Perenara, 22. Richie Mo’unga, 23. Anton Lienert-Brown

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  1. I’m counting on RW to depict this game via strategic & tactical considerations in their usual reality-based way
    FAKE NEWS Rugby “journos” eww-ing & ahh-ing about how Ireland looks when facing the ( eegad ) Haka.
    -Which I also think should be banned unless BOTH teams are allowed pre-match frivolities.

  2. Nah, ABs to win easy-peasy.

    Irish Bern talking themselves up, and the ABs down, suspect ABs will hammer them.

  3. Ireland and Wales have the game to shut down the AB’s – if they can score themselves then I both these sides can beat the AB’s…
    However – They have to shut them down for 80min and get a lead to put AB’s under pressure and then capitalize on AB’s mistakes.
    Ireland can do this, AB’s not been that convincing either so I suspect a tight match up unless the AB’s get an early lead/Headstart – then it could be 10+… The longer the Irish stay within 3 the more likely the Irish will pull it off.
    Nothing is ever “easy-peasy” when you have 2 entities fighting for the same prize… a team is only as good as the oppo allow them to be…

  4. @cab: @Bekke:
    just a tip for this weekend… (current – might change when I see the line-ups but unlikely)
    Put your money on Wales. I can’t see the current bok game-plan and aptitude able to beat this Welsh side.
    Wales are going to smother the Bokke and we do not have the patience or self confidence to overcome that yet. Bokke will break under pressure and leak points which we will not be able to get back.

  5. @Oupa Joe: I am also going for Wales on average. Our forwards have not really dominate yet (i.e. seems everybody can now mall against us – and we can do fokol). NH teams have now also realised: just run at speed at Boks – and the gaps do open. But if our forwards click for oulaas in 2018…

  6. @Bekke:

    Scotland played a very clever game to create the gaps on the outside. Everyone knows that we use the rush defense and the winger coming in to block the 13 channels hence they are all putting in the winger and FB on the outside and 13 almost midfield to create the HUGE gap on the outside… Our players do not seem to have the experience/insight to see that they are being played. Wales will do the same – let’s see if we can adapt. Wales will also be a huge challenge at the breakdown. Expect them to steal a few.

  7. @Oupa Joe:

    PS: I expect Bokke to be matched up front by Wales if not edged and this will put Faf and Pollard under huge pressure that they have not really been under…
    The more I think about it the more I think we are going to get beaten up…
    However – Bokke surprised us vs the AB’s so maybe, just maybe they can prove us wrong here…

  8. @Oupa Joe: yes, Rasman seems to realise this is the big one. I hope we stick with locks and loosies – but guess he will bring back stampkar Etsebeth. I’m with Bunny that Malherbe should get a “well deserved” rest – use Koch and Wilco. I also hope Faf / A4 stuff their box kicks where it hurts. Strangely I do not care that much for result Saturday – our guys must feel like zombies after playing since beginning of Feb!!

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