New Zealand defeats Ireland 21-11 in rugby test match

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The New Zealand national rugby team has defeated the Irish equivalent 21-11 in a home rugby test match at Wellington's Westpac Stadium. New Zealand has not lost to Ireland for 103 years, with one draw being the closest Ireland have come to a victory.

The score was tied at 11-11 with 20 minutes remaining in what was New Zealand's first match since exiting the World Cup. However, New Zealand's All Blacks were able to break through Ireland's defences to score a victory.

Conditions at Westpac were unusually bitter for the match. "I don't know if I've played in much colder than that," said Irish captain Brian O'Driscoll, and similar thoughts were echoed from All Black counterpart Richie McCaw. "It's probably the coldest game I've ever played in. I've never got cold out on the field but after half-time I was shivering. It was nasty."

New Zealand centre Conrad Smith commented that "There was one point there are the end when one of the Irishmen went down that both teams were running around in circles doing their own thing (to keep warm). I just looked around and thought 'this is stupid'."

Graham Henry, All Black coach, said that he felt the match had been "a lottery."