Who is Ryan Crotty?

Not only did he rob Ireland of a famous victory, but Ryan Crotty has a surname whose origins can be traced back to Co Clare and whose lineage makes him a direct descendant of … wait for it … Brian Boru.

Crotty is 25 years of age but only made his international debut this August, in New Zealand’s 47-29 win against Australia in Sydney, and his touch down here was his first in what was only his fourth time wearing the silver fern.

A standout for the Crusaders this season, Crotty can play 12 or 13 and he displayed his abilities on both sides of the ball during the Super Rugby campaign. He is one of numerous players to have emerged from a storied U20 side of 2008.

THREE MORE THAT GOT AWAY

New-Zealand 22-19 Ireland, Christchurch, June 2012

Ireland led 10-0 against the All Blacks in Christchurch in what was the second of three Tests at the end of a long World Cup season and were still on level terms, 19-19, as the 80th-minute came into view. A harsh penalty against the Irish scrum, awarded by Nigel Owens, who officiated yesterday, allowed the hosts to set up the platform for Dan Carter who send over a wobbly drop goal to seal a lucky three-point win.

Munster 16-18 New Zealand, Thomond Park, November 2008

Thirty years after the 1978 victory over the same opponents at the same ground, and 19 since the province had last come up against the mighty All Blacks, Munster got a shot to recreate history. A night of impossible drama saw the hosts lead 16-0 at the break and they were still only three points to the good before a late Joe Rokocoko try snatched the win for an under strength touring side that faced one without ten Irish internationals.

Ireland 29-40 New Zealand, Lansdowne Road, November 2001

A youthful New Zealand side pitched up at the battered old stadium and faced head long into a nightmare of epic proportions when they found themselves trailing Warren Gatland’s side 21-7 just after half-time.

Three tries in swift succession saved the day for the visitors in what was a Test of rare drama and the normally reserved Kiwi coach John Mitchell described the hosts afterwards as one of the best Irish sides he had ever seen.


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