History stacked in All Blacks' favour
June 4, 2012
Kieran Read touches down for the All Blacks against Ireland © Getty Images
History is firmly stacked in the All Blacks' favour when Ireland travel to Auckland to face the World Cup holders on Saturday.
The Irish have taken on the All Blacks 24 times in total, and all but one of those games ended in defeat. Their one success story came in 1973 when a side featuring legendary figures such as Tom Kiernan, Mike Gibson, Willie John McBride and Fergus Slattery earned themselves a 10-10 draw with the Kiwis at Lansdowne Road.
Since then, the All Blacks have reigned supreme. Ireland gave the New Zealanders an almighty fright in Dunedin in 1992 only to come out on the wrong end of a 24-21 scoreline, and they raced into a 21-7 lead at Lansdowne Road in 2001 before capitulating in the final half hour, allowing the Kiwis to ultimately cruise to a 40-29 victory.
However, while Ireland have often proved competitive, New Zealand have generally won this fixture quite comfortably, with their most recent clash in New Zealand being a case in point.
Ireland managed four tries in New Plymouth earlier this year but still ended up losing by 38 points (66-28).
The last time the pair met, Ireland succombed to a 38-18 loss at home to the All Blacks with Kieran Read grabbing a brace of tries along with other scores from Sam Whitelock and Anthony Boric.
Ireland v New Zealand All-time record: Played: 24, New Zealand won 23, Ireland won 0, drawn 1.
Biggest winning margin: NZ: 53, 59-6 at Athletic Park, 1992; Ire: N/A
Highest score: NZ: 66 (66-28) at Yarrow Stadium, 2010, Ire: 29 (29-40) at Lansdowne Road, 2001;
Most tries: NZ: 11 (59-6) at Athletic Park, 1992; Ire: 4 (28-66) at Yarrow Stadium, 2010.
Longest winning sequence: NZ: 18 (1974-present). Ire: N/A
Most points (individual): NZ: Andrew Mehrtens 81; Ire: Ronan O'Gara 38
Most tries (individual): NZ: 5 Doug Howlett and Frank Bunce; Ire: 3 Brian O'Driscoll
Most points in a Test: NZ: 33 Andrew Mehrtens at Lansdowne Road, 1997; Ire: 14 David Humphreys at Lansdowne Road, 2001.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September