Ireland 22 – 24 New Zealand



Absolutely gutted with the final result in Aviva Stadium this afternoon, really thought this was going to be one of those games that would go down in history. The opening 20 minutes looked promising as Conor Murray, Rory Best and Rob Kearney all crossed the try line inside the first 20 minutes. Ireland looked set to end a run of 27 winless encounters with the Kiwis dating back to 1905. But this was stopped by a New Zealand team that never gave up and kept believing in themselves. They have gone down in the History book by winning 14/14 games this year. This just shows why they are the best team in the world.

The unnecessary penalty by Devin Toner as he obstructed Wyatt Crockett did not help or Jonathan Sexton missing one of his kicks, but thats how the game goes. But credit must given to the Irish team as they gave their all and did our country proud. If this momentum can be brought forward into the 6 Nations next year the Grand Slam will be on the cards, fingers crossed!!


Guinness Rugby Series

Tomorrow we see Ireland kick off the Guinness Rugby Series against Samoa at 17:45 in the Aviva Stadium. This is big game for Ireland and Joe Schmidt, as this is a tough Autumn opener against a Samoa team ranked one place above them in the current IRB world rankings. I am looking forward to this new era of Irish rugby as I was starting to tire of Declan Kidneys ways, so I am hoping this will be  a positive change. This is Samoa’s only game against a tier 1 nation so I think they are going to throw everything they can at them making it an even more difficult match. Adding to the difficulty Samoan rugby legend Peter Fatialofa died of  heart attack during the week so all of the Samoan players will be playing in his honour. Fatialofa  played in two World Cups and lead Samoa into the quarterfinals in the 1991 tournament, with a massive upset win over Wales.

On the positive side Samoa are missing some of their big guns, they were unable to bring Japan-based pair Alesana Tuilagi and Seilala Mapusua on tour, while winger David Lemi and full-back/centre Paul Williams miss out through injury. Either Lemi or Williams would have captained this side had they been fit. Even with the gap left by these players there is still quality players to fill these positions. I hoping their coach Stephen Betham the former 7’s coach allows them to play in the 7’s style , as this will make for an exciting game to watch.

Ireland are heading in with a  strong team tomorrow, my only concern is Paddy Jackson. As I feel he does not bring the same level of skill or physicality that Sexton brings and he has been given a lot of time at 10 compared to the other outhalfs like Madigan. I think that Madigan should be given more game time and I would like to see Ian Keatley be given the opportunity  to show what he can do as he is playing well for Munster.

My Prediction for the Game tomorrow is Ireland to win 24-14.

The other games that are on tomorrow are:

14:00 Italy V Australia – Australia to win

14:30 England V Argentina – England to win

14:30 Japan V Scotland – Scotland to win

17:30 Wales V South Africa – South Africa to win

17:45 Ireland V Samoa – Ireland of Course

20:00 France V New Zealand – New Zealand to win

Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Brian O’Driscoll, 12 Gordon D’Arcy, 11 Fergus McFadden, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip (c), 7 Chris Henry, 6 Peter O’Mahony, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Mike McCarthy, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Rory Best, 1 Jack McGrath.

Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Declan Fitzpatrick, 19 Paul O’Connell, 20 Sean O’Brien, 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Dave Kearney.

Samoa: 15 Faatoina Autagavaia, 14 Alapati Leuia, 13 George Pisi, 12 Johnny Leota, 11 Brando Vaaulu, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Kahn Fotuali’i, 8 Taiasina Tuifua, 7 Jack Lam, 6 Ofisa Treviranus, 5 Teofilo Paulo, 4 Faatiga Lemalu, 3 Logovi’i Mulipola, 2 Ole Avei, 1 Sakaria Taulafo.

Replacements: 16 Ti’i Paulo, 17 Viliamu Afatia, 18 James Johnston, 19 Joe Tekori, 20 Alafoti Faosilivia, 21 Jeremy Sua, 22 Isaia Tuifua, 23 Fautua Otto.

Hope you enjoy the games tomorrow, they should be good.

Until next time,

Cheers Eoin.