New Zealand 42-10 Ireland

By Lyle JacksonBBC Sport NI
Winger Julian Savea scored three tries on his All Blacks debut
Winger Julian Savea scored three tries on his All Blacks debut

Young winger Julian Savea scored a hat-trick of tries on his Test debut as New Zealand overpowered Ireland in the first Test match in Auckland.

After a bright start by the tourists, the All Blacks took command with two Savea tries converted by Dan Carter, who earlier landed three penalties.

Savea scored again early in the second half before winger Fergus McFadden broke away for Ireland's only try.

Flanker Adam Thomson and centre Conrad Smith got the other New Zealand tries.

So, perhaps inevitably, the 25th meeting between the countries ended with the men in green still seeking their first victory over the world champions.

Ireland knew they faced a tall order, having travelled without Lions stars Paul O'Connell, Stephen Ferris and Tommy Bowe and then losing prop Mike Ross through injury.

They needed an encouraging start but suffered a fifth-minute setback as All Blacks fly-half Carter slotted over a penalty.

Sexton, though, soon levelled matters with a good kick but the Leinster stand-off's penalty was to be Ireland's only score of the first half.

In the opening exchanges, Ireland were ambitiously moving the ball wide, unafraid to take on the world champions at their own game.

Julian Savea scores the second of his three tries in Auckland
Debutant Julian Savea scores the second of his three tries for New Zealand in Auckland

However Carter, so unlucky to miss the World Cup because of injury, showed the Eden Park crowd he had lost none of his place-kicking prowess by landing two long-range penalties to give the Kiwis a 9-3 lead.

Hurricanes winger Savea then announced his arrival on the international scene with the opening try in the 26th minute.

Sonny Bill Williams off-loaded to Carter who drew the Irish defence before passing to the left wing for debutant Savea to ease over and get behind the posts.

Carter converted for 16-3 and the Irish deficit became 20 just eight minutes later as Savea delighted the home crowd by scoring his second try.

Full-back Israel Dagg zipped out a fine pass and Savea got the touchdown despite the last-gasp frantic efforts of Ireland backs Conor Murray and Rob Kearney.

The All Blacks kept their foot on the gas in the second half and Carter and Dagg were instrumental in another pacey attack which set up Savea for his hat-trick try on 44 minutes.

Carter's sixth successful kick from six made it 30-3, but then came a fleeting moment of encouragement for Ireland as winger McFadden nabbed a breakaway try for Declan Kidney's men.

Ulster hooker Rory Best won possession deep in Irish territory and Sexton kicked forward for McFadden to chase and beat the retreating Richie McCaw to the line.

It was a brief respite for the visitors as New Zealand piled on the pressure and secured their fourth try of the night from a five-metre scrum in the 57th minute.

Kieran Read picked up at the back and fed replacement flanker Thomson to power over with Ireland's defence in disarray. Carter dragged the conversion wide for his only miss of the match.

Tired Ireland conceded a sixth try late on as centre Smith took a pop pass from replacement Aaron Cruden - after a lovely offload behind his back from Carter - to score from close range.

New Zealand: Dagg, Guildford, C. Smith, S. Williams, Savea, Carter, A. Smith, Woodcock, Hore, O. Franks, Retallick, S. Whitelock, Vito, McCaw, Read.

Replacements: Elliot, B. Franks, A. Williams, Thomson, Weepu, Cruden, B. Smith.

Ireland: Kearney, McFadden, O'Driscoll, Earls, Zebo, Sexton, Murray, Healy, Best, Fitzpatrick, Tuohy, Ryan, O'Mahony, O'Brien, Heaslip.

Replacements: Cronin, Loughney, O'Callaghan, McLaughlin, Reddan, O'Gara, Cave.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

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