Rugby Union
Ireland embarrassed against All Blacks
New Zealand score record win to sweep their series with Ireland as Australia also deny Wales a win with narrow victory.
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2012 12:30
All Black Aaron Cruden impressed on his debut and helped to open up a huge lead early on [Getty Images]

New Zealand ran in nine tries with Sonny Bill Williams and Sam Cane scoring doubles to inflict a record 60-0 win over
Ireland and sweep the three-test series on Saturday.

Flyhalf Aaron Cruden produced an outstanding cameo before being forced from the field by injury, beguiling the Irish defence with his running and passing skills and creating tries for Williams, Cane and Ben Smith to give the All Blacks a 26-0 lead after only 24 minutes.

Ireland, who had hoped to build on a competitive second test performance, never recovered and suffered their heaviest ever loss to New Zealand in being held scoreless against the All Blacks for the first time in 88 years.

"You look at that scoreline and the way the test match went... that scoreline's a bit embarrassing,'' Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll said.

"You look at that scoreline and the way the test match went... that scoreline's a bit embarrassing"

Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll

"We knew we had to start well and we didn't, and that's what the All Blacks do when they get a 15- or 20-point lead. They just play their own game and you're running after them for 80 minutes. That's how it was.

"To be 21 points down before 20 minutes were up, we were going to be chasing the game, and we just made too many errors.''

New Zealand captain Richie McCaw was proud of the way the less experienced players handled the situation. 

"You're always in danger (after a good start) that you might throw the ball around a bit more than you should,'' said McCaw.

"But I was happy with the way Aaron (Cruden) and (Barrett) played.

"I think we played enough territory but also took our opportunities and getting that mix right is important. Sam (Cane) and Beauden and guys like that, Luke Romano, who are in their first one or two tests looked like they've been here for a while.''

The All Blacks had been deeply frustrated by their poor performance in the second test, in which they needed a last-minute dropped goal from Dan Carter to win 22-19 and keep alive their 107-year unbeaten run against the Irish.

Tight clean-sweep

Australia claimed a 20-19 victory over Wales to complete a hard-fought 3-0 test series victory in which only 11 points separated the teams.

Tries to Australia center Rob Horne and Wales No.8 Ryan Jones were the only bright spots in an otherwise tepid performance by both teams in front of a capacity crowd of 42,889.

The Wallabies took the opening test 27-19 in Brisbane and the second test 25-23 in Melbourne last week to ensure they won the James Bevan trophy.

"I think it showed the desperation of both teams, the Welsh wanted to win and we wanted to finish off with a clean sweep"

Australia coach Robbie Deans

Saturday's match was often punctuated by South African referee Craig Joubert's whistle, with both teams struggling to stem the tide of ill discipline and errors despite clear, dry conditions.

Man-of-the-match Berrick Barnes kicked five penalties for the home team, while Leigh Halfpenny scored 14 points for the Six Nations champions.

After entertaining encounters in the first two tests in Brisbane and Melbourne, the third test failed to reach the same heights. But Australia coach Robbie Deans hailed his team's effort.

"I think it showed the desperation of both teams, the Welsh wanted to win and we wanted to finish off with a clean sweep,'' Deans said.

"Credit to these blokes, they got up and got the win in the end. Considering how much was happening off the ball, I think these guys did a good job; we showed composure at the end and I think that will service us well going forward.

"They're a world-class side. We've talked about them all series, their capacity to play. They've got threats all across the ground.''


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