Two Jacob Stockdale tries along with a penalty try saw the Irish build a 22-3 lead with 22 minutes left on the clock, but a Rhys Patchell led fight-back from Wales left got them back within touching distance late on.
Both teams had a decent start with Wales dominating possession however although they couldn’t make that count as Ireland got the scoreboard ticking with a Jack Carty penalty.
On 16 minutes they were all even as Jarrod Evans popped over a penalty from straight in front of the posts.
Two minutes on and the Irish were in for the first try of the game as a Carty offload allowed Andrew Conway to break through the Welsh defence. He raced all the way to the five-metre line before passing out left for Stockdale to touchdown.
Man of the match Carty struck the conversion beautifully from the touchline to make it 10-3 in the away side’s favour.
Evans had a chance to cut the lead but missed from a penalty on 26 minutes.
That proved costly as two minutes on and a poor offload from Aaron Shingler left the ball bouncing on the ground. Stockdale didn’t need a second invitation to pounce, kicking ahead, picking the ball up and racing over for his second try of the game.
Carty missed the resulting conversion along with a penalty from the Welsh ten metre line on the stoke of half-time to leave the score at 15-3 when the whistle blew.
Wales failed to make possession count in the first five minutes of the second half and for the next quarter of an hour Ireland camped inside the home side’s 22.
Ireland were dominant in the scrum and their pressure led to a yellow card for Wales’ substitute tighthead Leon Brown on 51 minutes.
With Wales down to 14 Ireland continued to pressurise them and with 58 minutes on the clock Roman Poite awarded a penalty try as the lead was pushed out to 19 points.
After then Wales dominated, hitting back with a try six minutes later through Owen Lane, who showed great feet to finish in the right corner. Patchell converted and suddenly it looked like a comeback could be on.
It was Patchell who set up a nervy finish to the game by closing a few minutes of Welsh pressure in the Irish 22 by stepping inside Garry Ringrose and diving over for a try just left of the posts.
His conversion made it a five-point game with four minutes on the clock. However, Ireland managed to weather the storm and see out the game 22-17.
It was the first time Ireland have defeated Wales on home soil since August four years ago, again in the lead up to the World Cup and will leave the squad much happier following their demolition at the hands of England last weekend while Wales will be disappointed not to have won in Warren Gatland’s final home game.
The two teams meet again next weekend in the Aviva Stadium, by which time both will have named their 31-man squads to travel to the World Cup in Japan next month, and it is expected the pair will name full strength teams in their final warm-up games ahead of the tournament.
Hallam Amos (6), Owen Lane (7), Scott Williams (5), Owen Watkin (5), Steff Evans (6), Jarrod Evans (5), Aled Davies(7); Rhys Carre (6) , Ryan Elias (6), Samson Lee (7), Adam Beard (6), Bradley Davies (6), Aaron Shingler (5), James Davies (6), Josh Navidi (7)
Will Addison (6), Andrew Conway (8), Chris Farrell (6), Bundee Aki (8), Jacob Stockdale (8), Jack Carty (9), Kieran Marmion (7); Dave Kilcoyne (7), Niall Scannell (7), John Ryan (6), Iain Henderson (7), James Ryan (7), Tadhg Beirne (6), Peter O’Mahony (7), Jack Conan (6)
PREVIEW: All Blacks v Fiji
The Steinlager Series ends on a high in Hamilton as the All Blacks face an incredibly physical and skillful Fijian side who will be eager to improve on the 57-23 score line from Dunedin last week.
Match details: All Blacks v Fiji, Saturday 17 July, 7.05pm (NZT), FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton
First game: All Blacks 74, Fiji 13 (27 May 1987)
Last game: All Blacks 57, Fiji 23 (10 July 2021)
Referee: Damon Murphy
FIJI NO SURPRISE PACKAGE
While Fiji’s strong performance in the first Test came as a surprise to some fans, it wasn’t to the All Blacks according to first five-eighth Richie Mo’unga. “We knew what we were going to get and for those who didn’t know, the New Zealand public who don’t watch European rugby, these guys are rock stars over there,” Mo’unga said. Despite a hampered build-up to the first Test with some players not coming out of MIQ until the week of the Test, Fiji pressured the All Blacks in many facets of the game and trailed by just eight points with 20 minutes to go. Fiji Head Coach Vern Cotter believes his side can get even better with another week of preparation under their belt. “The ingredients are there, a brave performance…you can build something from that,” Cotter said.
ARDIE AND ANTON MILESTONES
It will be a night to remember for Ardie Savea and Anton Lienert-Brown who both bring up 50 Tests for the All Blacks. Both players debuted in 2016 as youngsters and have quickly become regular starters and leaders in the All Blacks. Lienert-Brown said it was even more special for him to celebrate the milestone in Hamilton. “This region is probably the reason I am here. It has given a lot to me so to do it at FMG Waikato Stadium is special so I am very grateful.”
Fiji excelled at the breakdown last week in Dunedin and will be looking to edge the All Blacks again in this crucial area. It’s no secret that the All Blacks have been working hard during the week to improve their work at the breakdown and the addition of Ardie Savea to the starting line-up for the first time in 2021 will no doubt boost the All Blacks ability to compete in the tackle zone. Assistant Coach Brad Mooar outlined a simple formula to success at the breakdown: “I think it’s more about just winning the race, beating the opposition to the breakdown, making good decisions and execution as a ball carrier, supporters’ anticipation, and getting into that breakdown,” Mooar said.
This will be the All Blacks 600th Test in the team’s rich history. The first All Blacks Test match was against Australia way back in 1903.
Hear from All Blacks Head Coach Ian Foster on the 23 players named to face Fiji in Hamilton.
Watch the action live on Sky Sport in New Zealand and click HERE for international broadcast details.
All Blacks (caps in brackets):
1: George Bower (2) 2: Codie Taylor (57) 3: Nepo Laulala (30) 4: Scott Barrett (41) 5: Samuel Whitelock – captain (124) 6: Akira Ioane (3) 7: Ardie Savea (49) 8: Luke Jacobson (4) 9: Aaron Smith (98) 10: Richie Mo’unga (23) 11: Sevu Reece (9) 12: David Havili (4) 13: Anton Lienert-Brown (49) 14: Will Jordan (4) 15: Damian McKenzei (29)
Reserves: 16: Dane Coles (76) 17: Ethan de Groot (1) 18: Angus Ta’avao (15) 19: Brodie Retallick (82) 20: Shannon Frizell (13) 21: Brad Weber (8) 22: Beauden Barrett (90) 23: Rieko Ioane (35)
1.Peni Ravai, 2. Samuel Matavesi, 3. Mesake Doge, 4. Temo Mayanavanua, 5. Leone Nakarawa (C), 6. Johnny Dyer, 7. Mesulame Kunavula, 8. Peceli Yato, 9. Frank Lomani, 10. Ben Volavola, 11. Nemani Nadolo, 12. Eneriko Buliruarua, 13. Waisea Nayacalevu, 14. Setareki Tuicuvu, 15. Kini Murimurivalu.
Reserves: 16. Mesulame Dolokoto, 17. Eroni Mawi, 18. Leeroy Atalifo, 19. Albert Tuisue, 20. Kitione Kamikamica, 21. Moses Sorovi, 22. Teti Tela, 23. Manasa Mataele.
World Rugby applies 50/22 law trial globally, bolster concussion protocol
World Rugby announced on Wednesday five law trials which will start next month, including a so-called “50/22” kicking adaptation.
The 50/22 change allows a team to gain a throw-in inside the opposition’s 22-metre area by kicking the ball to touch with at least one bounce from their own half.
The rule was used in recent Super Rugby tournaments and its primary intention is to “encourage the defensive team to put more players in the backfield, thereby creating more attacking space and reducing defensive line speed”, according to the sport’s governing body.
The other laws to come into force on a temporary basis from August 1 include a goal-line drop-out if the ball is held up in the in-goal area, if there is a knock-on from an attacking player in the same area or an attacking kick is grounded by the defenders in their own in-goal.
There are also restrictions on attacking players latching onto team-mates from a ruck and clean-outs which target or drop weight onto the lower limbs at the breakdown.
The final trial allows for a one-player latch before contact, but the individual must “observe all of the requirements for a first arriving player, particularly the need to stay on their feet”.
World Rugby has also moved to strengthen concussion protocols, with independent specialists set to review cases when Test players return to action after a head injury.
They will launch a panel of Independent Concussion Consultants (ICCs) to provide expert opinion on whether players are ready to return to action after head knocks.
The global governing body will fully fund the process for Test-level competitions, with ICCs asked to rule when players look to return to action 10 days or fewer after a concussion or on players deemed higher risk due to previous head-injury history.
Ireland Name Squad For Final Game Of Vodafone Summer Series
Andy Farrell and his coaching team have named the Ireland side to face the USA at the Aviva Stadium in the final fixture of the Vodafone Summer Series. There are four new caps in the starting XV and a further four uncapped players in the replacements.
James Ryan wears the captain’s armband and is partnered in the second row by Ryan Baird who wins his 5th cap in his first start for Ireland. In the backrow Caelan Doris switches to the blindside flank to accommodate Gavin Coombes at No.8 with the uncapped Nick Timoney lining out at openside.
In the front row Tom O’Toole is set to make his international debut alongside Ronan Kelleher and Dave Kilcoyne.
Craig Casey will make his first start for Ireland and will partner his provincial colleague Joey Carbery at half-back. Stuart McCloskey retains the inside centre berth and is joined by fellow Ulsterman, debutant James Hume (pictured above). Hugo Keenan starts his 13th consecutive game for Ireland and is supported in the back field by Andrew Conway and the uncapped Robert Baloucoune.Ireland
The replacements include Dave Heffernan, Ed Byrne, Finlay Bealham, Will Addison and the uncapped quartet Fineen Wycherley, Paul Boyle, Caolin Blade and Harry Byrne.
The match will be televised by RTE (ROI) and on Channel 4’s YouTube channel (UK & NI) and kicks off at 7.15pm.
Ireland Team & Replacements (v USA, Vodafone Summer Series, Saturday, July 10, 7:15 pm)
15. Hugo Keenan (UCD/Leinster) 12 caps
14. Robert Baloucoune (Enniskillen/Ulster) uncapped
13. James Hume (Banbridge/Ulster) uncapped
12. Stuart McCloskey (Bangor/Ulster) 5 caps
11. Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster) 24 caps
10. Joey Carbery (Clontarf/Munster) 23 caps
9. Craig Casey (Shannon/Munster) 2 caps
1. Dave Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster) 44 caps
2. Ronan Kelleher (Lansdowne/Leinster) 12 caps
3. Tom O’Toole (Ballynahinch/Ulster) uncapped
4. Ryan Baird (Dublin University/Leinster) 4 caps
5. James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 36 caps captain
6. Caelan Doris (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 8 caps
7. Nick Timoney (Banbridge/Ulster) uncapped
8. Gavin Coombes (Young Munster/Munster) 1 cap
16. Dave Heffernan (Buccaneers/Connacht) 5 caps
17. Ed Byrne (UCD/Leinster) 5 caps
18. Finlay Bealham (Buccaneers/Connacht) 15 caps
19. Fineen Wycherley (Young Munster/Munster) uncapped
20. Paul Boyle (Buccaneers/Connacht) uncapped
21. Caolin Blade (Galwegians/Connacht) uncapped
22. Harry Byrne (Lansdowne/Leinster) uncapped
23. Will Addison (Enniskillen/Ulster) 4 caps
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