26 Nov 2013

All Blacks pull off stunning escape

5:44 am on 26 November 2013

The All Blacks have pulled off a stunning escape to complete their perfect season, scoring after the final siren to beat Ireland 24-22 in Dublin.

Ireland were moments away from their first win over the All Blacks, before Ryan Crotty scored a late try to tie the scores.

All Blacks first five-eighth Aaron Cruden then slotted the sideline conversion to complete the first perfect season in the professional era.

Ireland had shocked the All Blacks early in the match, with three unanswered tries to take a 19-nil lead.

Conor Murray and Rory Best barrelled over from close range, before Rob Kearney gathered an intercept and ran 70 metres to score Ireland's third.

The All Blacks hit back through Julian Savea before Jonathan Sexton kicked a penalty to give Ireland a 22-7 lead at half-time.

A Cruden penalty after the break reduced the deficit to 12 points, before the prop Ben Franks scored for the All Blacks to set up a thrilling final 15 minutes.

Sexton had a chance to seal the game for Ireland with a penalty with four minutes to go, but was unable to convert, giving the All Blacks the chance to score the winning try.