A second-string Ireland team lost 32-17 to Māori All Blacks in Waikato in the opening game of the New Zealand tour

A second-string Ireland team lost 32-17 to Māori All Blacks in Waikato in the opening game of the New Zealand tour

IRELAND LOST their opening game of the 2022 tour in New Zealand to the Māori All Blacks in Waikato. Tries from Gavin Coombes and Bundee Aki wasn't enough in a 32-17 defeat during the early hours of Wednesday morning.   

Before the game Aki presented the Maori with an Irish jersey in memory of the former Maori All Blacks player Sean Wainui, who died aged 25 last year. 

Ireland's starting 15 consisted of several players without caps. The five uncapped players were Jeremy Loughman, Jimmy O'Brien, Ciarán Frawley, Joe McCarthy and Cian Prendergast. 

Ireland was never expected to hit the ground running in their opening game with so many changes, but Andy Farrell will be sweating on the fitness of several of his players, who went off injured. 

HAMILTON, NEW ZEALAND - JUNE 29: Jimmy O’Brien of Ireland (C) is tackled by Ollie Norris of the Maori All Blacks  (L) during the match between the Maori All Blacks and Ireland at FMG Stadium on June 29, 2022 in Hamilton, New Zealand. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

Jeremy Loughman was taken off in the opening two minutes for a HIA. The Munster man was then replaced by Leinster's Cian Healy. Loughman passed his HIA and played on until 41 minutes, where he was again replaced by Healy. 

Healy went down with knee injury on the 71 minutes, James Hume's leg injury meant he was replaced by his Connacht team-mate Mike Lowry,and fullback Jimmy O' Brien also hobbled off the pitch.

Ireland's opening try came from Connacht centre's Aki. Ireland scored early on from a set piece at the lineout, when Aki touched down under the posts after good work from Coombes. 

Coombes scored Ireland's other try in the second half. Leinster's Ciaran Frawley was on kicking duty and scored two conversions and a penalty in the game. 

The Māori All Blacks four tries came from Zarn Sullivan, Cullen Grace, Brad Weber, and Shaun Stevenson 

Ireland's next game will be on the 2nd of July against the All-Blacks in Eden Park, Auckland (KO: 8.05am) 

New Zealand haven't lost in Eden Park since 1994. 

Maori All Blacks: Zarn Sullivan; Shaun Stevenson, Billy Proctor, Rameka Poihipi, Connor Garden-Bachop; Josh Ioane, Brad Weber (capt); Ollie Norris, Kurt Eklund, Tyrel Lomax; Josh Dickson, Isaia Walker-Leawere; Cameron Suafoa, Billy Harmon, Cullen Grace. 

Replacements: Tyrone Thompson, Tamatai Williams, Jermaine Ainsley, Maanakai Selby-Rickit, TK Howden, TJ Perenara, Ruben Love, Bailyn Sullivan. 

Ireland: Jimmy O'Brien; Jordan Larmour, James Hume, Bundee Aki (capt), Keith Earls; Ciarán Frawley, Craig Casey; Jeremy Loughman, Dave Heffernan, Tom O'Toole, Joe McCarthy, Kieran Treadwell; Cian Prendergast, Nick Timoney, Gavin Coombes. 

Replacements: Niall Scannell, Cian Healy, Finlay Bealham, Ryan Baird, Jack Conan, Conor Murray, Joey Carbery, Michael Lowry.

Maori All Blacks v Ireland
Maori All Blacks (32) 32
Maori All Blacks Tries: Z Sullivan, Stevenson, Weber, Grace Cons: Ioane 3 Pens: Ioane 2
Ireland (10) 17
Ireland Tries: Aki, Coombes Cons: Frawley 2 Pen: Frawley


New Zealand v IRELAND 

Eden Park, Auckland, Saturday 2nd July 2022 (KO: 8.05am) 

New Zealand v IRELAND 

Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, Saturday 9th July 2022 (KO: 8.05am) 

Māori All Blacks v IRELAND 

SKY Stadium, Wellington, Tuesday 12th July 2022 (KO: 8.05am) 

New Zealand v IRELAND 

SKY Stadium, Wellington, Saturday 16th July 2022 (KO: 8.05am)