Ireland break Aussie hearts
Dublin: Ireland endured a fierce fightback to defeat Australia 27-24 and end the Wallabies’ Grand Slam bid at Lansdowne Road yesterday.
The Irish took an early 17-0 lead but required a late counterattacking try from Keith Earls to put them ahead for good with 13 minutes left. The win meant Ireland defeated southern hemisphere powers Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in a calendar year for the first time.
The Wallabies, halfway to their first Grand Slam of the home unions in 32 years, blew chance after chance against a makeshift Irish backline in the second half, and was illdisciplined again. They came into the match having rested key players during last week’s victory over France. The Irish, by contrast, were without Jonathan Sexton, Robbie Henshaw, and Sean O’Brien, and the injury list grew in the first half, as Rob Kearney, Andrew Trimble, and Jared Payne limped away. Yet Ireland dominated the opening half against the error-prone Wallabies, and finished stronger. Ireland 27 (Iain Henderson, Garry Ringrose, Keith Earls tries; Paddy Jackson 3 conversions, 2 penalties).
Australia 24 (Dane Haylett-Petty, Tevita Kuridrani, Sefanaia Naivalu tries; Bernard Foley 3 conversions, penalty). HT: 17-7. -Planet Rugby