Sunday 17 December 2017

Ireland v New Zealand Touchlines

Kiernan's men forced to settle for famous draw against all blacks

Cian Healy
Cian Healy
George Morgan, from Perrystown, Co. Dublin, meets All Black out-half Dan Carter
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

There are no plays written about the day Ireland drew with New Zealand, but for the men of 1973 the day they drew 10-10 with the All Blacks stands alone in itself.

The tourists were chasing history as well on that day 40 years ago as they looked to complete a first Grand Slam tour by beating Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland, but that led to what one newspaper described as their "inflexible thinking" at Lansdowne Road.

New Zealand came into the tour on the back of the 1971 Lions series defeat and were determined to prove a point and, having defeated all comers, only had to do what they always do against Ireland and win.

But Tom Kiernan's side had other ideas and, despite finding themselves behind 10-3 and playing into the wind, Barry McGann's penalty and Tom Grace's try after he out-paced Joseph Karam from his own chip levelled the contest. McGann's conversion attempt from the touchline sailed just wide and a famous win was not to be. A famous draw had to do.

The All Blacks moved on to Cardiff and would play the Barbarians a week later. Anyone know what happened there?

Ireland – Tom Kiernan (capt); Tom Grace, Kevin Flynn, Mike Gibson, Wallace McMaster; Barry McGann, John Moloney; Ray McLoughlin, Ken Kennedy, Sean Lynch; Willie-John McBride, Kevin Mays; James Davidson, Fergus Slattery, Terry Moore.

New Zealand – Joseph Karam; Bryan Williams, Bruce Robertson, Ian Hirst, Grant Batty; Bob Burgess, Sid Going; Graham Whiting, Tane Norton, Kent Lambert; Pole Whiting, Hamish MacDonald; Ian Kirkpatrick (capt), Alex Wylie, Alan Sutherland.


Cian Healy @ProperChurch

Can't believe #selfie is word of the year.... Ashamed to say I have used said word before! And committed said crime. .. #JoyceWept


Sam Maguire and William Webb Ellis may have operated in different worlds, but yesterday the two teams who hold them in their possession came face to face in west Dublin.

Through their mutual sponsor AIG, the Dubs and the All Blacks got together for what the marketing types would describe as synergy.

However, while the two teams are top of their relative trees right now, they are probably not the most similar teams in their respective worlds. Consistently excellent, naturally gifted and obsessed with the game, despite having a small population and a rural population, Kerry are surely a closer fit to New Zealand.

What does that make the Dubs? Well, those unkind folks from beyond the pale would probably point to the large population and lack of success and say England, but given Touchlines is a regular on Hill 16 we're going to say France – cosmopolitan, stylish, blue jerseys and somewhat unpredictable.

What if the boys in blue played rugby?

Here's a possible XV of the best of the Dubs: Cian O'Sullivan; Jason Sherlock, Dessie Farrell, Bernard Brogan, Kevin Moran; Stephen Cluxton, Alan Brogan; Jimmy Keaveney, Joe McNally, Vinny Murphy; Brian Stynes, Brian Mullins; Ger Brennan, Paul Curran, Michael Darragh MacAuley.


Remember George Morgan, the Irish youngster whose Youtube video of his kicking skills got the attention of Dan Carter on Twitter earlier this year?

Well, the youngster from Perrystown in Dublin got to meet his hero as Carter presented him with a pair of boots and chatted to him at the All Blacks base in Castleknock.

Let's hope the 13-year-old Terenure College prodigy took the tips on board and backs up the injured fly-half's tip that we might just see him in a green jersey one day.


"We have been licking our wounds a little, but the realisation is there that we need to play with maybe a little bit of anger this weekend and make sure we are not lacking the ambition and hunger that perhaps weren't there last weekend."

Brian O'Driscoll


Ireland 9/1

New Zealand 1/25

Draw 35/1

Ireland (+20.0) 10/11, New Zealand

(-20.0) 10/11, Draw (20.0) 20/1


30Number of tries Ireland have managed against Sunday's opponents in 27 Tests.

New Zealand have managed to score an impressive 103

Irish Independent

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