Ireland comfortably defeated the All Blacks 23-12 in a bruising encounter under the roof in Dunedin.
The hosts faced numerous disciplinary errors in the first half with 2 yellow cards and a red card dished out in the first 40 minutes. At one stage referee Jaco Peyper had to consult the rule book, with the All Blacks reduced to 12 men and defending a scrum on their own 5-meter line.
The All Blacks somehow managed to go into the sheds at halftime down 10-7. Beauden Barrett found his way over the line just before the break.
However, the All Blacks simply had no answers to the Irish dominance with the ball in hand. The defence of both sides was simply bone-crunching at times with multiple players leaving the field due to concussion protocols.
Irish captain Jonny Sexton confirmed his place in Irish rugby hall of fame, becoming the first Irish captain to win in New Zealand. He, unfortunately, had to be dragged from the field late in the game with what looks like another serious injury, in what was a near-perfect performance from the fly-half.
Two tries to prop Andrew Porter, the first coming in only the 3rd minute of the test match demonstrates how physical this match was. Both teams chose to take the direct route and chose to tap penalties rather than taking the points.
Both sides will have huge motivation to prepare for next week’s series decider in Wellington.