New Zealand v Ireland, Christchurch
All Blacks have weight of history behind them
June 12, 2012
All eyes will be on Julian Sevea come Saturday © Getty Images
The All Blacks continued their winning run against Ireland last weekend at Auckland with their opponents hoping to record their first ever victory against the World Cup holders on Saturday.
Saturday's match will be the first time the two sides have met in Christchurch with the All Blacks last Test in the city resulting in a 20-10 win over Australia. And come Saturday eyes will be on flyer Julian Sevea. He kick-started his All Blacks career with a hat-trick against Ireland and in the process became the seventh New Zealand international to achieve that feat.
The Irish have taken on the All Blacks 25 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.
Last Saturday it was more of the same for the All Blacks as they ran in five tries against Ireland.
Ireland v New Zealand All-time record: Played: 25, New Zealand won 24, 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: 19 (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.
Most tries in a Test: NZ: 3 Julian Sevea v Ireland, 2012; Ire: 2 Keith Wood and Vince Cunningham
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