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All Blacks rack up half century in rout of Pumas



Redemption rugby from the All Blacks paralysed Argentina who were denied any sniff of opportunity in a seven try 53-3 win for New Zealand in the Lipovitan-D Rugby Championship Test in Hamilton on Saturday.

Wet weather rugby from the All Blacks, pressure applied through kick-chasing and superior offensive tackling unsettled Argentina. They were a shadow of the side that won the first Test, lacking the intensity in the face of a committed home side.


Improved discipline also denied Argentina the goal-kicking chances of the first Test while there was more dominance at the breakdown.


The scene was set at the outset when in front of his posts lock Tomas Lavinini dropped the ball and Argentina conceded an early penalty. And things never improved.


It was a game that saw captain Sam Cane lead from the front with his best game of the season while evidence of a maturing midfield combination between second five-eighths David Havili and centre Rieko Ioane could not have been more obvious.


Havili was the back room master, doing the nuts and bolts work that freed up Ioane to show his best attacking intent.


But the pack were not to be outshone, hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho and his front row allies try scoring Ethan de Groot and Tyrell Lomax were superb while blindside flanker Shannon Frizell was much more of the enforcer the All Blacks have lacked.


The option-taking was vastly improved. Applying short chip and grubber kicks, the All Blacks turned Argentine around often and they showed their discomfort. No8 Pablo Matera was a battler for his side but his record-equalling 15th Test appearance for Argentina against the All Blacks was not a night to remember.


Nine minutes into the half, wing Will Jordan and centre Rieko Ioane contested a kick to take the ball forward. Ioane had a second run to set up a quick ruck and de Groot was able to slide across the line on the back of his momentum on the wet ground.


Sixteen minutes into the game a chip kick from first five-eighths Richie Mo’unga was contested, with quick ball and a slick pass from flanker Sam Cane giving Ioane room, and time, to run in and out of wing Emiliano Boffelli to feed wing Caleb Clarke in for a try.


Argentina finally got some consistent ball in the second quarter, but dogged All Blacks defence confined the damage to a Boffelli penalty goal.


But as soon as the restart occurred, Jordan applied the pressure to the catcher and with quick forward support, a turnover was achieved and a penalty was tapped by the ever-present, and diligent, No8 Ardie Savea. It looked to produce a try for hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho, but it was ruled out for a knock-on, unluckily as it turned out, as an Argentina arm looked to knock the ball.

However, the All Blacks were under advantage, and with Lavanini sin-binned for foul play, they took a scrum and a powerful shove allowed Havili to slip the shortest of passes to Ioane, who had his reward for a good first half with a try under the posts.


Argentina threw everything into the third quarter, their only reward seeing replacement prop Fletcher Newell sent to the sin-bin. But that didn’t stop the All Blacks who, gaining a scrum from another Argentina mistake, ran the ball, initially in helter-skelter fashion, but then straightened by, who else, than Ioane?


He raced 50 metres, and, in the tackle, passed back up to replacement halfback Finlay Christie. He moved the ball on with Cane twice prominent, including handing the final pass for fullback Jordie Barrett to score.


Another breakout saw Savea in his element and from a penalty lineout, he accepted a pass from replacement hooker Dane Coles to score.


Putting the icing on the cake was a determination after the final hooter had blown to work the ball under penalty pressure to in front of the Argentine posts. A scrum option was requested and acting skipper Savea ran off the back drawing the defence and replacement first five-eighths Beauden Barrett spied the gap and took it to score.


Mission accomplished with an 80-minute performance that was everything that had been asked for and keep Rugby Championship hopes alive.


New Zealand 53 (Ethan de Groot, Caleb Clarke, Rieko Ioane, Jordie Barrett, Ardie Savea, Brodie Retallick, Beauden Barrett tries; Richie Mo’unga 4 con 2 pen; Jordie Barrett 2 con) Argentina 3 (Emiliano Boffelli pen). HT: 24-3

Content & Images from – New Zealand Rugby

6 Nations

Stewart Joins Ireland Squad In Portugal As Wales Prep Intensifies



Ulster hooker Tom Stewart has joined the Ireland squad in Quinta do Lago to provide additional cover following a hamstring issue picked up by Ronan Kelleher. Kelleher will be managed by the Ireland Medical team over the coming days.

The uncapped Stewart is a former Ireland U20 international who played twice for Emerging Ireland in the Autumn, starting in the victories over the Griquas and the Cheetahs. The Ireland coaching group also included him in the match day preparations for the Ireland ‘A’ game against the All Blacks XV in November.

Stewart’s addition brings the number of Emerging Ireland tourists in the Senior squad to five – Jack Crowley, Joe McCarthy, Jamie Osborne and Cian Prendergast.

The squad will continue to train at The Campus in Quinta do Lago this week before flying to Cardiff on Thursday ahead of the opening round of the 2023 Guinness Six Nations Championship.

Ireland Squad, 2023 Guinness Six Nations:

Backs (17)

Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians) 41 caps
Ross Byrne (Leinster/UCD) 14 caps
Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon) 7 caps
Jack Crowley (Munster/Cork Constitution) 2 caps
Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster) 98 caps
Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 23 caps
Mack Hansen (Connacht) 8 caps
Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 25 caps
Jordan Larmour (Leinster/St Marys College) 30 caps
James Lowe (Leinster) 15 caps
Stuart McCloskey (Ulster/Bangor) 9 caps
Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen) 100 caps
Jimmy O’Brien (Leinster/Naas) 3 caps
Jamie Osborne (Leinster/Naas)*
Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 47 caps
Johnny Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 109 caps (c)
Jacob Stockdale (Ulster/Lurgan) 35 caps

Forwards (20)

Ryan Baird (Leinster/Dublin University) 8 caps
Finlay Bealham (Connacht/Buccaneers) 27 caps
Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 36 caps
Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) 33 caps
Gavin Coombes (Munster/Young Munster) 2 caps
Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 23 caps
Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 63 caps
Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 121 caps
Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 68 caps
Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 31 caps
Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne) 18 caps
Dave Kilcoyne (Munster/UL Bohemians) 48 caps
Joe McCarthy (Leinster/Dublin University) 1 cap
Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution) 89 caps
Tom O’Toole (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 4 caps
Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 48 caps
Cian Prendergast (Connacht/Corinthians) 1 cap
James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 48 caps
Dan Sheehan (Leinster/Lansdowne) 13 caps
Tom Stewart (Ulster/Ballynahinch)*
Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 45 caps

*denotes uncapped player

2023 Guinness Six Nations Fixtures

Saturday 4th February 2023, KO 14:15 (IST)
VIRGIN / BBC / RTE Radio / BBC Radio

IRELAND v France
Saturday 11th February 2023, KO 14:15 (IST)
RTE TV / ITV / RTE Radio / BBC Radi0

Saturday 25th February 2023, KO 14:15 (IST)
RTE TV / ITV / RTE Radio / BBC Radio

Scotland v IRELAND
Sunday 12th March 2023, KO 15:00 (IST)
RTE TV / BBC / RTE Radio / BBC Radi0

IRELAND v England
Saturday 18th March 2023, KO 17:00 (IST)
VIRGIN / ITV / RTE Radio / BBC Radio

Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography

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Savea back at the helm of the Hurricanes



All Blacks loose forward Ardie Savea will captain the Hurricanes again for the 2023 DHL Super Rugby Pacific season.

Savea, who will have his 11th season in the side, will mark his first appearance in the competition by playing his 120th game.

The Hurricanes’ season opens against the Reds in round one.

Savea said: “I’m looking forward to the season, especially getting out to the communities, when we play in Levin against the Crusaders for our pre-season game and Palmerston North against the Western Force on Sunday, April 2.

“We’ve just moved into our new facility, and there’s something awesome about change; it’s brought in a lot of energy. It’s refreshing to come in and be in a new space alongside other professional teams. Hopefully, being here can help us move forward and prepare well for our games.”

The facility is part of the New Zealand Campus of Innovation and Sport at what was the Central Institute of Technology at Trentham and houses, several Wellington-based teams.

Coach Jason Holland was delighted to be able to call on Savea’s leadership ability again.

“Ardie is a special leader. He’s the sort of guy you want to follow in whatever he does. He’s worked hard at his leadership around all the small details, around how to get the best out of the people around him.

“He’s been good at driving us as a group, players and management, about being well-planned and clear in our roles in what we’re leading.

“Ards has a great relationship with all the boys and cares about them and the team and that shows in the way he leads.”

Content & Images from – New Zealand Rugby

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Marshall primed for Crusaders coaching opportunity



James Marshall couldn’t escape rugby’s draw after retiring from playing and failed in his promised avoidance of the coaching ranks.

The former Super Rugby title winner with the Hurricanes has fitted into coaching so well that he will spend 2023 as backs coach for the Crusaders in Super Rugby Pacific.

Auckland-born Marshall started his rugby career with Tasman, but when missing a place in the Super Rugby structure, in a team or wider training group, he had a chance as a 20-year-old to play in Italy with Zebre.

It proved a stimulating experience in coping with playing a different style of rugby at a different level.

He returned to New Zealand six months later for another three seasons with Tasman before getting a chance in the Hurricanes’ wider squad. He had spent four years trying to get a place in the Crusaders.

“I could never crack it as a player but I’m here now as a coach,” he said.

“It is surreal to be here now. When I finished rugby, I promised my wife I wouldn’t get into coaching. We had moved around so many times during my career, even when I was playing for the Hurricanes moving to Taranaki every six months.

“We worked it out there were well over 20 houses we lived in throughout my career so when I got to the end of it I did say I wouldn’t be chasing the coaching dream, and I wouldn’t be moving the family around any more.”

However, back in Nelson, he got the chance to work with Andrew Goodman and Shane Christie, which gave him coaching work where he had decided to settle.

“Then a couple of years later,, I get a call from Razor [Scott Robertson] and it really throws a spanner in the works for my wife and when I got the opportunity, it was a no brainer. It’s such a good opportunity for me to learn and see where coaching can now take me.”

He contacted David Havili to see if he felt Marshall could do the job asked of him as backs coach and to see if he would have the backing of the players.

Havili got back in touch to say how much he thought Marshall could add to the environment. He also contacted some of his Hurricanes contacts and admitted being surprised at how supportive they were.

The Crusaders were one of the most successful sides in the sport’s history, and looking from the outside while playing, he had always wondered what went on and how they did it.

“It’s been impressive. It’s a well-run ship. Razor does a great job. Scotty Hansen, the detail he has on the rugby programme. Tamati Ellison, some of his coaching, it’s all world-class.

“It’s been awesome for me as a young coach to witness these guys at work and try and learn as much as I can off them.

“There’s also the players. It’s a pretty impressive squad when you look at it on paper and the chance to work with some world-class athletes and try and teach them as much as I can, but also try and learn from them,” he said.

Content & Images from – New Zealand Rugby

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