25 Nov 2013

Last minute win gives All Blacks perfect season

10:53 am on 25 November 2013

The All Blacks have achieved a perfect season by beating Ireland 24-22 after the 80th minute at Lansdowne Road in Dublin.

The winning points came from the boot of Aaron Cruden when he converted at the second attempt a late try by Ryan Crotty which tied the Test. Ben Franks and Julian Savea also scored.

Cruden is thankful he got a second chance to kick the winning conversion. He missed the first attempt, but was given another shot after the Irish players charged off their line too early.

Cruden told Sky Sport he just had to keep his composure when he lined up the second one near the sideline.

Crotty crossed 90 seconds after the final whistle. AAP reports the try was analysed for nearly five minutes by third match official Graham Hughes of England, who eventually ruled a pass by reserve hooker Dane Coles to Crotty was not forward.

More drama followed when Cruden missed his initial conversion attempt.

Ireland led 22-7 at half time.

The win means the All Blacks are the first international team in the professional era to go through a season unbeaten, with 14 Test victories.

New Zealand's record against Ireland is now 27 wins and one draw from 28 Tests. The match ended a European trip in which the All Blacks beat France 26-19 and England 30-22.


Captain Richie McCaw said he's pleased with how the side's handled adversity and shown an ability to adapt to different situations.

Freelance rugby journalist Willy Nicholls from Sideline NZ told Morning Report that Ireland played brilliantly and All Blacks were extremely lucky to pull off the victory.

Nicholls said he can't remember the last time the All Blacks were down so much, so early, and it really took some work coming back.

Irish playwright John Breen, who wrote a play about Munster's famous 1978 victory over the All Blacks in Ireland, told Morning Report the Irish were incredibly unlucky to lose.

Breen said that if he had written the match as a piece of fiction people would never have believed it.