All Blacks v Ireland: Latest Odds & Analysis on Third New Zealand Test
History was made by Ireland in Dunedin last weekend, but now they have an even bigger prize in their sights at Sky Stadium in Wellington this Saturday and betting sites can’t wait for kick-off.
Following a run of 13 previous defeats stretched across 46 years, the Green Army finally got the better of the All Blacks on New Zealand soil with a deserved 23-12 triumph at the Forsyth Barr Stadium.
While both sides registered two tries apiece - loosehead prop Andrew Porter grabbing a brace for the visitors - 13 points from the boot of Jonathan Sexton played a massive part in Ireland getting over the line.
For context, the previous time that New Zealand lost to northern hemisphere opposition in their own backyard (not counting the British & Irish Lions in 2017) was as far back as 2009 and a 27-22 reversal to France in Dunedin.
Back then, an Irish international side of any kind were still searching for a maiden win over New Zealand.
Their women’s team finally broke the mould at the 2014 World Cup however, and the Ireland men’s U20s followed suit on their march to the World Championship final two years later.
The senior men’s outfit - under the guidance of Kiwi Joe Schmidt - eventually got their first victory against the All Blacks at Soldier’s Field, Chicago in 2016.
There was a disappointing loss to the southern hemisphere giants at the 2019 World Cup, but there have been further memorable days for Ireland in this fixture since that point.
Ireland Getting In The Habit Of Beating The All Blacks
As a result of last Saturday’s success, Ireland have now defeated New Zealand in four of their last seven meetings.
This sequence of results seemed unfathomable - especially to rugby betting sites - 10 years ago, when the Irish rounded off their last tour of the country with a 60-0 hammering to the then-world champions.
The All Blacks, of course, begun this summer series with a convincing 42-19 victory at Eden Park.
Had they matched this performance in Dunedin seven days later, it would have made the concluding test something of a damp squib.
Instead, the Sexton-inspired Ireland team have injected fresh life into the tour and will believe they are capable of a first-ever series win against the All Blacks to supplement their ground-breaking feat of last weekend.
All Blacks Still Seen As Favourites For Third Test
Nonetheless, given how rare it is for New Zealand to lose at home (even to their fierce rivals Australia and South Africa) bookmakers still feel that an All Blacks triumph is the most likely outcome from this mouth-watering third test.
Paddy Power are offering odds of 3/10 on the hosts coming out on top in Wellington, while Ireland’s chances of success are rated at a nifty 13/5.
Odds on the game - and, by extension, the series - to end up in a draw range from 20/1 to 33/1 across a selection of betting apps.
In the two tests to date, the margin of victory has been double figures for both New Zealand and Ireland.
If you fancy the All Blacks to win from between 21 and 25 points once again, then you could do worse than consider the odds of 15/2 being offered up by William Hill for this very occurrence.
Ireland’s prospects of repeating their 11-point success in Dunedin for the closing test seems less likely, with a winning margin of 1 to 5 points viewed as the realistic outcome in the event of another away victory. Ladbrokes are currently offering odds of 13/2 on this to happen.
Ireland have started like a house on fire in both tests and while the game had drifted away from them by the midway point in the first test, New Zealand should expect their opponents to take the game to them from the off once more.
Andy Farrell’s men will be looking to lead at half-time if they want to come away with the result they crave and there are odds of 15/8 available on them to do so for a second weekend running with BetVictor.
O’Mahony Set To Be Available For Closing Test
Having gained a significant boost ahead of the second test with the news that team captain Sexton had passed his various Head Injury Assessments and was deemed fit to play, head coach Farrell will have been delighted to hear that Peter O’Mahony has done likewise in advance of their trip to Wellington.
Ireland were also buoyed by their impressive victory over the Maori All Blacks on Tuesday, having lost out to the same opponents three days before the first test with New Zealand.
Some players boosted their selection prospects for Saturday with strong performances in this game, most notably Jordan Larmour, Gavin Coombes and Ciaran Frawley.
Yet, Farrell and his coaching staff have kept changes to the test team to an absolute minimum.
14 players have started both games against the All Blacks thus far and this number could have been 15 were it not for winger Mack Hansen testing positive for Covid-19 ahead of their first meeting in Auckland.
There will be a change in the Irish midfield as Garry Ringrose is definitely ruled out after sustaining a blow to the head in an incident that saw New Zealand’s Angus Ta’avao receiving a red card just past the half-hour mark last weekend.
Bundee Aki slotted in alongside his former Connacht team-mate Robbie Henshaw in his absence and he will do so again for the third test.
While it is a set-back to lose a player of Ringrose’s calibre, Aki is an experienced figure who has been a regular under Farrell and claimed his eighth Irish try in the first test defeat to New Zealand in his hometown of Auckland.
Chance For Ireland To Pull Off Series Win
There was also an opportunity for someone to gain a place in the match day 23 as cover for Henshaw and Aki. That honour went to Keith Earls after he captained (the first time he’s ever held the armband) Ireland to victory over the Maori All-Blacks in mid-week.
In many ways, earning one win from three tests is something many Irish supporters would have taken coming into this window, given it hadn’t been done before and things are looking good for their 2023 Rugby World Cup hopes.
However, there is a sense that - with the international rugby calendar set to be drastically altered in the years to come - Ireland won’t have a better shot at securing a series triumph over the All Blacks.
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