Thinking and talking about rugby every day for 50+ years
10 November 2016
549th All Black test
NEW ZEALAND v IRELAND (Northern tour international) at Soldier Field, Chicago, USA.
Date: Saturday, November 5, 2016
Fulltime Score; Ireland 40 New Zealand 29
Halftime; Ireland 25 New Zealand 8
Conditions; Excellent, Weather fine and bright. Temperature cool. An afternoon game. Slight breeze favoured New Zealand in the first half.
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant Referees: Luke Pierce (England) Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
TMO: Rowan Litt (England)
The scorers; For IRELAND (40) Tries by J.Murphy, CJ Stander, C.Murray, S.Zebo and R.Henshaw. 2 conversions and 2 penalties by J.Sexton. 1 penalty by C.Murray; 1 conversion by J.Carbery.
For NEW ZEALAND (29) Tries by G.Moala, TJ Perenara, Ben Smith and Scott Barrett. 3 conversions and 1 penalty by Beauden Barrett.
NEW ZEALAND: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Waisake Naholo (Rep’d by Aaron Cruden 55m), 13 George Moala (rep’d by Codie Taylor 70m) 12 Ryan Crotty (rep’d by Malakai Fekitoa 25m), 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith (rep’d by TJ Perenara 46m), 8 Kieran Read (c),7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Jerome Kaino, (rep’d by Scott Barrett 59m on debut) 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (rep’d by Ardie Savea 45m), 3 Owen Franks, (rep’d by 59m) 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody (rep’d by Ofa Tu’ugafasi 59m) (Moody was yellow-carded in the first haldf)
IRELAND: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Jared Payne, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Johnny Sexton (rep’d by Joey Carbery 59m),9 Conor Murray,8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Jordi Murphy (rep’d by Josh van der Flier 26m), 6 C.J. Stander, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Donnacha Ryan (Rep’d by Ultan Dillane 65m), 3 Tadhg Furlong (rep’d by Finlay Bealham 56m), 2 Rory Best (Rep’d by Sean Cronin 71m),1 Jack McGrath (rep’d by Cian Healy 60m)
Two Irish replacement players; Kieran Marmion and Garry Ringrose, were not used off the bench at all during the game.
The win ended New Zealand’s sequence of 18 test wins in a row.
The win by Ireland was their first-ever over the All Blacks. In the previous 28 tests spread over 111 years New Zealand had won 27 games with one drawn game (10-10) in 1973.
When he came off the sub’s bench Scott Barrett was making his debut for New Zealand and played alongside his brother older Beauden.
When the try scored by Scott Barrett in the second half was converted by his brother Beauden this was the first time this had happened in All Black test history.
When Ardie Savea came onto the field in the 59th minute to join his brother Julian as well as the two Barrett brothers many in the media claimed this was the first time two sets of All Black brothers had been on the field at the same time in the same game. That was at least since both the Meads brothers, Colin and Stan, and the Clarke brothers, Don and Ian had played together in tests in the 1960s. Thanks to research from Clive Akers, the editor of the Rugby Almanack of New Zealand at least one other example of this brotherly double-double should be recalled; the Brooke brothers, Zinzan and Robin, and the Bachop brothers, Stephen and Graeme had all started in the same All Black test v South Africa in Auckland in 1994.
The scoring of five tries in this test against New Zealand (thus inflicting a loss on a New Zealand test team) by Ireland in Chicago equalled the highest total of tries ever scored in a test by any country when they had beaten the All Blacks.
The other countries in that list (in winning margin order are):
5 tries v New Zealand (in a winning game);
By Australia, 3rd test at Eden Park, Auckland 1978 (score 30-16) (Winning margin of 14 points)
By South Africa, Tri Nations game, Johannesburg 2004 (score 40-26) (Winning margin of 14 points)
By South Africa, 3rd test at Eden Park, Auckland 1937 (score 17-6) (Winning margin of 11 points)
By Ireland, 1st test, at Soldier Field, Chicago 2016 (score 40-29) (Winning margin of 11 points)
The great DB Clarke kicks the last ever Goal From a Mark in a test for NZ and the England are denied a test win by 9-6 in Christchurch.
Jedforest, Newcastle and Scotland
51 internationals for Scotland 1988-99
Described once as ‘a one-off, a complete and utter mystery’ as a person, Gary Armstrong ended his international career remembered as a deeply steadfast scrumhalf whose commitment to any team he played for could never be denied. The 'mystery' referred to extreme shyness.
But like a lot of shy rugby people Armstrong expressed himself strongly once he ran on to the field. He always tackled way above his diminutive stature, was an elusive runner, especially around the short side of a scrum, and above all was unswerving in his courage. He may have been a quiet man but when he played his final game for his country, captaining the team against the All Blacks at the 1999 Rugby World Cup, he was described afterwards by his coach Jim Telfer as ‘the bravest man I ever saw play for Scotland’.
Armstrong made his debut for Scotland in 1988 and only months later was in the British Isles team which toured Australia. On that trip he failed to make the test teams, losing out to Robert Jones of Wales, but in 1990 he played some of his greatest rugby. Not only was he a powerful force in the Scottish touring team to New Zealand, a team which harried the All Blacks over two close tests, but he also played a pivotal role in Scotland’s epic victory over the ‘auld enemy’, England, in the critical Five Nations and Grand Slam match of that year.
Injuries kept him out for two seasons and one time, after 28 tests, he actually retired from test rugby to concentrate on his dearly loved Jedforest team. But Scotland seemed to always call Armstrong back and each time they did he gave his usual 110%. He was captain of Scotland when they won the Five Nations in 1999 (of great satisfaction considering they were 100-1 outsiders when the season started). He also was one of the rare players to play the 1991 World Cup series, then miss the 1995 series in South Africa (he was injured), only to be back for the World Cup in 1999.
He retired from international play after captaining and playing strongly in the quarter-final match against New Zealand on his beloved Murrayfield.
After sevens years of productive play as a professional with the Newcastle Falcons, Armstrong became one of the first professionals with the new Scottish Borders professional team in 2002, signing as a 35 year old on a three-year contract!
When did an international rugby team play a full game and then travel to another country to play a second full game on the same day?