Ireland 15 — Australia 6

Well, wasn’t that some change in a week?  I’m delighted to admit that my prediction was completely wrong and, that instead of being stuffed, Ireland wrapped Australia up and defeated them honestly in a game dominated by the forwards both in attack and defence.

The Australian scrum was torn apart by the Irish pack, especially, but not only, in the shape of Cian Healy who in my opinion was simply outstanding.  At the same time, the tackling combination of O Connell and O Callaghan meant that the Aussies never got a chance to release their runners.  Even on the couple of occasions when they made it as far as the Ireland line, they ran into the proverbial brick wall. In one ridiculous passage of play, Stephen Ferris picked up Will Genia and carried him like a small child for about twenty paces.

 

Lessons have clearly been learned from the timid display of recent games, with players showing the sort of aggression essential to put the reigning Tri-Nations champions in their place.  The Australians were well aware from the start that Ireland would dominate in the lineout, and kicked only one touch in the first half, but in the second forty minutes, as the cracks began to appear, I thought their discipline wilted and they conceded more and more territory from the line-out.  If they thought they’d make up the difference in the scrum, they were wrong.  Ireland’s pack outmuscled and outmanoeuvred them every time.

Part of Australia’s problem could be arrogance.  I didn’t hear their mid-week comments but by all accounts, the Oz management and players had written off their encounter with Ireland as a formality.  This is not a thing anyone should do lightly when the opposing team includes people such as Paul O Connell, the Lions captain, Brian O Driscoll and Ronan O Gara, three of the very best in the world at their jobs.

I thought the Australians were unprepared for the game they were forced to play.  As their captain, James Horwill, put it, We played some dumb footy.

Fair dinkum, James.  You played some dumb footy and some even dumber match preparation by underestimating the opposition.

In fairness to James, he also said We weren’t good enough.  And that’s a fact.

Having said all that, I don’t know if Australian teams of previous years would have allowed themselves to be taken apart the way Ireland did today.  It’s hard to imagine players like Lynagh or Campese letting themselves be smothered the way the Aussie backs were this morning, but of course, all good attacking backs need a platform and Ireland simply didn’t allow their opponents to get that far.  As a forwards contest, Ireland wiped the floor with the Australian front eight.

For me, it was an amazing performance, all the more so considering what a terrible pre-competition run Ireland had, and what a poor display they put in against the United States.  Maybe this is the most perfect example ever seen of a squad peaking at just the right moment.  Who knows? The Italy game could be ugly and the Russian one even uglier, but not in a good way.

 

15 thoughts on “Ireland 15 — Australia 6

  1. Morale and confidence definitely increased after ROG stepped onto the pitch, but the tight 5 won the game.

  2. An amazing performance. Really showed the rest of the rugby nations we aren’t to be taken lightly

  3. The only downside from today was ROG’s emotionally charged interview where he said that after this competition he intends to retire from the international set-up.

  4. It was a great start to the day (Irish time!) and a real joy to watch. Had a peek at an online australian rugby forum: pre-match most thought they’d win no prob so you can imagine the dissecting that’s gone on since!

    25/9 : Ireland – Russia (7am i think).
    2/10 : Ireland – Italy (9:30am).

    Momentum? hope so.

  5. In the cold light of day it’s just occurred to me that if we’re happy with this result, Wales must be delighted – despite coming second they will avoid Australia !

  6. reckon that france and england are also happy with that result.thing is are we good enough to reproduce that performance for 5 more games, or will it be like USA 94 again?

  7. A great result, and a belter of a game. Absolutely delighted for the team, they worked themselves into the ground.

    Sets up two very interesting halves in the knockouts. Ireland will be much happier with their form and their chances now, and if they get Pocock and Moore back, plus maybe Ioane, the Aussies could still turn over the Boks.

  8. Great game and fantastic result, still not a fan of Kidney.

    O’Gara rose in my estimation for his emotional and passionate interview.

    Jim Glennon gave Darcy and Heaslip 8 and 8.5 in his performancxe reviews, is he on drugs??

  9. In the run in to the match over here no one (print or vision), gave the Irish a chance. They might as well just stay at home. The superiority of Australia was a given.
    The arrogance they show at times is breathtaking. Best country in the world, mate, everyone else is a wanker, mate…
    Still, I live here, and accept their pesos, so who am I to talk…

  10. Once they got beaten the news seems to have dried up. Very little in the papers or on the TV. Typical australian reaction – if they can’t be the best at something they walk away and look for something else.
    The little news there is assumes they’ll be home early.
    Only the diehards following at this stage.
    The matches are not shown live on free to air TV. Murdoch bought the rights to most of them but the ‘aussie tycoon, Packer, shows some matches on his free to air station . They’re shown on delay at all times of the night so we have the result before the match starts. Can’t let the rugby clash with Aussie idol or some other shit…
    Ah, the mighty dollar.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.