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All Blacks get revenge in Dublin

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 19/11/2016 Angelo Risso

The All Blacks have earned their revenge over Ireland, producing a gritty defensive performance to shut out their opponents in a 21-9 win.

Two weeks on from Ireland's shock win in Chicago, the world champions produced the goods in Dublin despite Ireland's dominant 67 per cent possession.

First-half injuries to playmaker Johnny Sexton, gun second-five Robbie Henshaw and enforcer CJ Stander also nullified much of Ireland's offensive potency.

Smarting after their sub-par showing two weeks ago, the All Blacks roared out of the blocks early, controlling the opening phases and pushing their noses in front.

A third-minute Beauden Barrett cross-field lob found centre Malakai Fekitoa, who skipped around his man on the left edge to notch New Zealand's first try.

The Hurricanes playmaker returned to the free-flowing running game that netted him World Rugby's Player of the Year gong.

Barrett made five first-half runs at the Irish line, including a stunning solo effort in the 13th minute to scythe through and nab his side's second five-pointer.

The try came just moments after an extraordinary last-ditch Barrett tackle on Irish flanker Sean O'Brien, just metres from the line after an Aaron Smith knock-on.

Smith, who had already knocked-on twice and threw several errant passes, was sent to the bin in the 17th minute for repeated infringements.

But, unlike in Chicago, Ireland couldn't take advantage of their extra man and had only a penalty goal to show for their efforts in the subsequent 10 minutes.

Ahead 14-6 at the break, the second-half started in the worst possible way for New Zealand as Fekitoa earned his own yellow card for a high tackle.

But again the All Blacks held firm, and again conceded only the single Paddy Jackson penalty goal during Fekitoa's absence.

Coach Steve Hansen used the man disadvantage to shuffle his deck, introducing playmaker Aaron Cruden and shifting Barrett to fullback.

TJ Perenara was also subbed in for Smith, and alongside Barrett played a part in the side's 66th minute clincher.

Anton Lienert-Brown threw a left-edge offload into the path of Barrett, before the ball made its way to Fekitoa via Perenara for the centre to nab his second.

Ireland, having pushed so hard during their 20-minute stint with an extra man, were deflated by Fekitoa's effort and the clock eventually ran out on them.

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