Tag Archive: Richie McCaw

Friendly reunion it was not, but New Zealand fans relished seeing Richie McCaw back in black (Image | AP)

Friendly reunion it was not, but New Zealand fans relished seeing Richie McCaw back in black (Image | AP)

The Rugby Championship began this weekend in Sydney with an emphatic 47-29 victory for New Zealand, underlining once again their dominance since the Rugby World Cup of 2011.

The Kiwis welcomed back talismanic captain Richie McCaw and although he was received in typically robust style by the Australian forward pack, his ability in the rucks and in the loose was immense.

His return from a sabbatical from rugby following the 2012 autumn international loss against England galvanised the team to victory in the first Bledisloe Cup Test of 2013.

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Following their 33-10 win over Wales in Cardiff on Saturday, the New Zealand rugby union team have remained undefeated in 20 successive international fixtures, a run that stretches back to September 2011.

Combative | New Zealand winger Julian Savea fends off Wales’ Alex Cuthbert at the Millennium Stadium. (Image | 3News)

Add to that figure a victory over England this weekend and they will extend what is already a world record figure to 21 matches unbeaten.

With six Rugby Championship titles in the previous eight years and Rugby World Cup success last year, the question is beginning to circulate: could this All Blacks side be the best of all time?

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Dan Carter kicks a last-minute drop kick to hand New Zealand a 2-0 lead in the Test series. (Image | The Guardian)

Ireland looked to bounce back from their 42-10 drubbing against the All Blacks last week, with Declan Kidney making four changes to the team that was resoundingly beaten in the first Test.

Andrew Trimble replaced Simon Zebo on the wing, Gordon D’Arcy returned to the centre in place of the injured Keith Earls, fit-again Mike Ross came in for Declan Fitzpatrick in the front row, and Kevin McLaughlin swapped for Peter O’Mahony at blindside flanker. Jamie Heaslip led Ireland out on his 50th cap. Nigel Owens was the referee for this encounter, as strict as ever at the breakdown which would be the key to this game.

The Irish scored the first points of the game, prop Ben Franks penalised for going off his feet at a ruck to give Sexton the chance to put the ball into the corner for the lineout. Rory Best threw to Donnacha Ryan, and good recycing by Ireland saw them reach the All Blacks try line. Munster man Conor Murray touched down from the back of the ruck, evading Tony Woodcock to get the first try of the game. Sexton converted to give Ireland a 7-0 lead after ten minutes.

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