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Watch: Disaster for Ireland as New Zealand strike for three early tries

Ireland have been left with a mountain to climb after New Zealand raced into a 17-0 lead in Tokyo.

Johnny Sexton takes a breather against New Zealand.
Johnny Sexton takes a breather against New Zealand.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

NEW ZEALAND ARE fully in control against Ireland in Tokyo, scoring three first half tries during a ferocious start to the game.

The All Blacks asked serious questions of the Ireland defence right from the off, and Jordan Larmour – on as a temporary blood replacement for Garry Ringrose – needed to be alert to gather the ball under huge pressure after Keith Earls had lost possession in midfield. 

But the All Blacks continued to attack relentlessly and Aaron Smith eventually made the breakthrough following some good work by the New Zealand forwards, including neat hands from captain Kieran Read and Brodie Retallick.

Smith added a second try just before the 20 minute mark. 

A good lineout move saw Sevu Reece race forward before finding George Bridge, who was hauled short of the line by Keith Earls. Smith spotted a gap from the resulting ruck, with Jacob Stockdale guilty of charging too early, and the scrum-half was able to stretch over to dot down.

Richie Mo’unga converted both tries to add to his early penalty. 

With Ireland beginning to look like they were settling into the game, New Zealand capitalised on some sloppy play from Joe Schmidt’s team to extend their lead.

Johnny Sexton lost possession as he was hit by Sevu Reece when collecting a close pass from Rob Kearney. Mo’unga was on hand to boot the ball up the pitch, and full-back Beauden Barrett showed blistering pace to sprint after the ball and take full advantage, with Mo’unga dragging the conversion wide.

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