Carter clinches All Blacks victory

Dan Carter kicked a late drop goal as New Zealand beat Ireland 22-19

Dan Carter kicked a late drop goal as New Zealand beat Ireland 22-19

First published in National Sport © by

A Dan Carter drop goal with 60 seconds left on the clock gave New Zealand a dramatic 22-19 victory over Ireland after a gripping encounter in the second Test in Christchurch.

The Irish led 10-9 at half-time, but an Aaron Smith try just after the break edged the All Blacks ahead. Jonathan Sexton kept his side in touch with solid goal-kicking - plus a try from Conor Murray - but Carter, a proud Crusaders player, had the last word.

The record books will state that Ireland have now lost 25 out of 26 fixtures against New Zealand. However, with Israel Dagg sin-binned for a bad tackle on Rob Kearney, they never had a better chance to get that much-needed victory.

Murray's strong tackle on the marauding Adam Thomson showed his worth early on. He then scrambled well to win possession and Sexton kicked an awarded penalty deep into the New Zealand 22. Murray then picked from the base of a ruck and backed himself to touch down from two metres out, Sexton adding the extras

Brian O'Driscoll soon hacked clear and Sean O'Brien caused trouble inside the All Blacks half, leading for a penalty concession, with Sexton's kick from 35 metres sailing over.

Carter recorded New Zealand's first points of the match when referee Nigel Owens suspected the Irish of placing illegal hands in the ruck. Carter made it 10-6 three after Dan Tuohy was penalised for not rolling away from a tackle on Richie McCaw. Irish loosehead Mike Ross was the next guilty man and Carter's third penalty sneaked in by the left-hand post.

The All Blacks thundered into the Irish as the second half got under way and O'Driscoll was guilty of missing a tackle on Sonny Bill Williams on the right wing. A ruck ensued but Smith dived through a huddle of bodies for his first international try. Carter added the conversion, but Ireland's Sexton soon had the simple task of slotting a 20-metre penalty over.

Carter scored another penalty from 22 metres out after Owens penalised the visitors for not rolling away near their line. Ireland were not deterred and they hit back immediately with a great forward shunt on the scrum to earn another kick at goal for Sexton, which he landed.

O'Driscoll got a measure of revenge on 67 minutes as he ghosted past Sonny Bill Williams. The daring Irish attack was rewarded as Ali Williams came in from the side to gift the visitors a penalty. He then made Sexton's kick 10 metres easier after shoving O'Brien in the face, the Irish number 10 making it 19-19 with 11 minutes left on the clock.

The advantage swung towards Ireland as Dagg was yellow carded, but Sexton's penalty attempt from the halfway line dropped short. Carter's first effort at a crucial late drop goal was wide, but Piri Weepu dashed the ball back forward. The kick hardly soared, but it was enough to break Ireland hearts.

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