Saturday, November 15, 2008

Test rugby: New Zealand v Ireland

New Zealand v Ireland

After their impressive 55-0 win against Canada last weekend, Ireland will be out to prove a point at Croke Park. Never before in the history of the game has Ireland defeated New Zealand. On Saturday they face what is probably the complete international rugby team. They are match fit (Ireland could be a little under done here) and have a clear objective of winning a Grand Slam (winning all tests against all home rugby nations). The support of fanatical Irish supporters in the holy grail of Croke Park may not be enough.

Last Five Encounters
07.06.2008 New Zealand 21-11 in Wellington
17.06.2006 New Zealand 27-17 in Auckland
10.06.2006 New Zealand 34-23 in Hamilton
12.11.2005 New Zealand 45-7 in Dublin
22.06.2002 New Zealand 40-8 in Auckland

GWC Rugby Rankings: World Table-New Zealand 1st, Ireland 12th

Prediction: New Zealand by 30 points

Teams, as per Planet-Rugby

15 Girvan Dempsey, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Luke Fitzgerald, 11 Rob Kearney, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Tomas O'Leary, 8 James Heaslip, 7 David Wallace, 6 Alan Quinlan, 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 John Hayes, 2 Rory Best, 1 Marcus Horan. Replacements: 16 Jerry Flannery, 17 Tony Buckley, 18 Stephen Ferris, 19 Shane Jennings, 20 Eoin Reddan, 21 Paddy Wallace, 22 Keith Earls

New Zealand
15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Rodney So'oialo, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Neemia Tialata, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock. Replacements: 16 Corey Flynn, 17 John Afoa, 18 Anthony Boric, 19 Kieran Read, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Stephen Donald, 22 Isaia Toeava.

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