Sunday, June 13, 2010
New Zealand trounced Ireland 66-28 in New Plymouth on Saturday as the tourists suffered a humiliating defeat that has now been made worse by the news that Jamie Heaslip has been suspended for five weeks for dropping his knee into an All Black player.
Dan Carter became only the fourth ever player to surpass 1000 points in Test rugby as the home romped to a 38-0 lead in the first half before Ireland could score. New Zealand remains unbeaten against Ireland, taking the win record to 23 matches over a period of 105 years.
Heaslip was given a straight red card in only the 15th minute of the game, putting his team on the back foot in what was already going to be an uphill battle. He was seen to have kneed Richie McCaw in the head, twice. He admitted it at a hearing earlier today. He did however deny that he made deliberate contact with McCaws head.
"The judicial officer, Michael Cashman, came in with a medium-level ruling and they also took into account his being contrite and owning up to it and his attitude at the tribunal itself," said the Ireland team manager. He will take no further part in the tour.
Ronan Ogara was also shown a card in the first half, just a yellow, but it meant Ireland were down to 13 men for ten minutes, a period in which Jimmy Cowan scored twice, while prop Ben Franks also scored.
They went on to score nine tries in total, but loosened their defense in the second half as Ireland found some form and scored a few of their own.
"The way we started, compared with where we've been in the previous few years, I was happy with," said All Blacks captain Richie McCaw. "I guess there's still a lot to work on but I'm happy with the way we started.
"I'm pleased that all the blokes who had their first games played pretty well. I guess when it comes a bit easy you can lose focus on defence and we leaked a few tries in the second half that we probably shouldn't."
Highlights of all the other big games will follow soon.