All Blacks XV romp to victory over Ireland A in Dublin

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The visitors’ ability to unsettle the Irish at the breakdown and disrupt the hosts set pieces, stealing three lineouts alone in the first half, were key ingredients in the success. 

Canterbury blindside Dominic Gardiner and Auckland lock and captain Patrick Tuipulotu were especially combative.

Ireland A lacked precision, frustrated into error, and often impatient with possession.  

All Blacks XV wing Shaun Stevenson was in sparkling form. He scored the first of his two tries out leaping halfback Craig Casey who was left stranded on the wing following ten phases of frantic attack and a pin-point cross kick by Damian McKenzie. 

After a brutally taken rolling maul try to hooker Brodie McAllister, Stevenson was on the scoresheet again. Gardner slapped an attacking Irish lineout onto the All Blacks XV side and fullback Ruben Love broke clear, providing the last pass to the Chiefs winger. 

The match threatened to change at the half hour mark when All Blacks XV openside Luke Jacobson was yellow carded for a miss timed breakdown entry. Ireland A attacked rigorously, and first-five Craig Frawley scored a try, recipient of a delightful offload from Ulster tighthead Tom O'Toole.  

Any hint of an Irish revival was quashed 30 seconds into the second spell. Once again Stevenson proved elusive. TJ Perenara was dependable support and the lively Love finished.

Centre Braydon Ennor is finding his feet again after a rotten run with injuries. A thrust by Gardner created space for wing AJ Lam whose pass saw Ennor celebrate a try. Ennor later switched roles distributing to Lam to dot down. 

McKenzie was creative and assured, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck solid without setting the world on fire and the starting front row of McAlister, Aidan Ross and Tevita Mafileo proved redoubtable for their opposites.

The Ireland A team featured a dozen players from the team that beat the Māori All Blacks in June. 

The All Blacks XV play the Barbarians in their final match of the tour at 3am NZT on Monday 14 November at the home venue of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. 

All Blacks XV: 47 (Shaun Stevenson 2, Brodie McAlister, Ruben Love, Braydon Ennor, AJ Lam, Damian McKenzie tries; McKenzie 6 con) Ireland A: 19 (Ciaran Frawley, Marty Moore, Max Deegan tires; Dave Kilcoyne con, Jack Crowley con)


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