What a way to start a Saturday.

A first-ever win for Ireland against the All Blacks in New Zealand, and a thoroughly deserved one at that.

Despite a five-minute period at the end of the first half, Ireland never looked like losing, and while they fluffed their lines on several occasions in the opening half, they balanced that out with a composed second-half performance to set up a series decider in Wellington next week.

Here's how we rated the Ireland players in Dunedin, with plenty of high scores, particularly in the forwards...

Hugo Keenan - 7

Wasn't peppered with high-balls but dealt well with what came his way. One of those games where he had to stay patient for large parts, but took a great up-and-under early in the second half which created an Ireland chance. Also made some good ground late on having linked up with Peter O'Mahony.

Mack Hansen - 8

Similar to Keenan, with the bulk of the game played in the forwards Hansen was often quiet, but through no fault of his own. His best moments came early, with some lively attacking touches very early on. Was taken out with a bad hit by Leicester Fainga'anuku for the first yellow card, but it shouldn't be forgotten that his kick down the touchline was excellent, and would have put the hosts under big pressure had we not come back for the penalty.

Garry Ringrose - 7

His night was ended after just over 30 minutes following the high tackle from Angus Ta'avao, but Ringrose had been playing steadily. Could have had a try when he popped up with a great support run for Johnny Sexton, but was tackled early which caused the second New Zealand yellow card.

Robbie Henshaw - 8

Didn't get much going his way in attack, and will have been frustrated with a knock-on in the 10th minute when Ireland were running a pre-planned move. He was mighty in defence though, and put in 11 tackles, while his huge tackle and turnover in the 22 gave Ireland the penalty which allowed Sexton to kick over the insurance score.

James Lowe - 6

Not his best day, but improved as the game went on. Some sloppy handling and passing was unusual for him, but he made some key contributions on the ball in the lead-up to Ireland's second try.

Johnny Sexton - 9

When he plays like this, it's clear why Ireland are so desperate to have him on the pitch as much as possible. His sniping run down the blind-side led to the second New Zealand yellow card and what probably should have been a penalty try. His decision to opt for a scrum after that yellow card showed his rugby brain, as he knew New Zealand would have to sub off a player to get a front row on. Nine tackles show his contribution in defence, while he made aggressive, attacking decisions.

Jamison Gibson-Park - 8

You have to take the rough with the smooth. Last week he made a number of errors, but if you want a scrum-half who plays with such speed, that's par for the course. This week, that relentless pace paid off, even if Ireland couldn't make it count in the first half. Produced a big penalty win in the second half after the All Blacks broke from deep.

Andrew Porter - 8

Answered some critics tonight. While he didn't cover much ground in scoring his two tries, it just showed the power he contains in those close-quarter carries. Conceded a scrum penalty in the opening half, but was far more controlled in that area as the game wore on.

Dan Sheehan - 7

A good defensive shift with 12 tackles, but was a bit quieter with the ball in hand compared to last week. A frustrating knock-on just after the hour mark was his final act of the game.

Tadhg Furlong - 7

His biggest contributions were defensive, with an impressive 15 tackles for a tighthead. Got on the ball very little, with six carries. Unusually he wasn't used in the passing game, something Ireland have relied heavily on in the last year. It may have been a deliberate tactic to change things up.

Tadhg Beirne - 9

Looked like a completely different player to last week, when he was making his first appearance since the Six Nations, and it told. This week he was back to his all-action best, and made huge carries in the build-up to both Irish tries, the first of which was a cracking line break from midfield. Match that attacking side with 14 tackles. A brilliant display.

James Ryan - 8

Will be frustrated with the yellow card before half time, but ultimately he just paid the price for team indiscipline. Active in defence and the ruck, while he was also disruptive at the lineout, with a great steal in the first half.

Peter O'Mahony - 9

From being relegated to the impact role a few months ago, he's deservedly put himself back up there as Ireland's best blindside option. Has been playing some of the best rugby of his career in recent months, and he was everywhere again in Dunedin. Made two offloads, the second of which saw Keenan make a great run, while his turnover and kick for a 50:22 deserved far better than the lost lineout that followed.

Josh van der Flier - 9

He's probably the best number 7 in the game at the moment, and followed up last week's brilliant performance with another outstanding display. Made a team-high 21 tackles, and crucially on at least two of those occasions managed to rip the ball clear and force a turnover in the process.

Caelan Doris - 8

Could have been a higher rating but was slopping in possession at times. Produced plenty of big moments though, with a big jackal penalty in the first half, and a last-ditch ankle tap on Jordie Barrett halting a New Zealand counter attack. Like almost every Irish forward, he put in a big defensive effort with 15 tackles, and there was nice variety to his passing and carrying.


Rob Herring - 6

Played the final 20 minutes and chipped in with a couple of carries as well as three tackles, but will be very frustrated at the lost lineout following Peter O'Mahony's 50:22.

Cian Healy - 7

Made several tackles in his 15-minute cameo, and was probably the key man for the scrum penalty Ireland won in that final quarter.

Finlay Bealham - 7

Like Healy, will be pleased with that scrum penalty, while contributed well in defence.

Kieran Treadwell - 6

Played the final 12 minutes but dealt mainly with the dirty work around the rucks.

Jack Conan - 7

Chipped in with plenty of tackles in the final quarter, and brought good energy in the final quarter.

Conor Murray - 7

When Ireland get to bring Murray on in games like this, it's a great balance to have. The Munster man managed the final quarter very well, and brought great experience to allow Ireland to play the game at their own pace.

Joey Carbery - Not on long enough to be rated fairly.

Bundee Aki - 9

Was called into action for the injured Ringrose in then opening half, and was brilliant on both sides of the ball. Carried 11 times, more than any other Irish back, and actually spent lots of the game out on the left wing. His line break led got Ireland into position to score their second try, and an excellent tackle on Rieko Ioane prevented New Zealand from a dangerous looking counter attack.