Carter breaks Irish hearts
A last-gasp drop-goal from Dan Carter gave 14-man New Zealand a dramatic 22-19 win over Ireland in Christchurch.
Last Updated: 16/06/12 1:37pm
A Dan Carter drop-goal with 60 seconds left on the clock gave 14-man New Zealand a dramatic 22-19 win over Ireland after a gripping encounter in the second Test in Christchurch.
The Irish led 10-9 at half-time, but an Aaron Smith try just after the break edged the All Blacks ahead.
Jonathan Sexton kept his side in touch with solid goal-kicking but Carter, a proud Crusaders player, had the last word.
The record books will state that Ireland have now lost 25 out of 26 fixtures against New Zealand. However, with Israel Dagg sin-binned for a bad tackle on Rob Kearney, they never had a better chance to get that much-needed victory.
The world champions defied ireland's man advantage in the closing eight minutes though, and after one failed attempt Carter slotted a scruffy drop that broke the tourists' hearts.
Ireland went ahead when Cian Healy and Kevin McLaughlin had darts at the All Black line before Murray picked from the base of a ruck and backed himself to touch down from two metres out.
Sexton added the extras and Ireland hit the front. It was just reward for a brave decision to kick for the line-out rather than go for three points.
New Zealand, through Conrad Smith and Zac Guildford, pushed forward but Ireland's defence was ferocious. Brian O'Driscoll hacked clear and Sean O'Brien caused trouble inside the All Black half, leading for a penalty concession. Sexton's kick from 35 metres sailed over.
Carter recorded the world champions' first points of the match when referee Nigel Owens suspected the Irish of placing illegal hands in the ruck.
The Crusaders man was not badly shaken after a big hit and made it 10-6 three minutes later after Dan Tuohy was penalised for not rolling away from a tackle on Richie McCaw.
Irish loosehead Mike Ross was the next guilty man at the ruck as he needlessly entered from the side. It gifted Carter a third simple penalty and his kick sneaked in by the left-hand post.
The All Blacks thundered into the Irish as the second half got under way and O'Driscoll was guilty of missing a tackle on Sonny Bill Williams on the right wing. A ruck ensued but Smith dived through a huddle of bodies for his first international try.
Carter added the conversion, but Ireland were awarded a penalty less than 60 seconds later as Thomson was adjudged offside. Sexton had the simple task of slotting a 20-metre penalty over.
McCaw was then lucky not to receive a yellow card after a short, destructive burst from the captain left O'Driscoll and Gordon D'Arcy on the turf. D'Arcy limped off soon after, to be replaced by Ronan O'Gara, and Sexton moved to inside centre.
Penalties were swapped and Ireland continued to pile the pressure and frustrate the home side, before Dagg was yellow carded for a late, head-high hit on Kearney with just nine minutes left on the clock.
Ireland sniffed victory, but Sexton's penalty attempt from the halfway line dropped short, before a harshly adjudged knock-on call against Mike Ross gave the home side the chance to clear.
The All Blacks were not content with getting a draw and they piled forward to give Carter a chance to kick a drop goal to clinch the game. Carter's first effort was wide after he received a poor snap-pass, but the All Blacks remained composed and he made no mistake with his second effort sealing a memorable win.