Schmidt: It was about character
IRELAND head coach Joe Schmidt praised his side: “A heck of a lot of it tonight was about character.
“The Wallabies came back in waves, but credit to Jordan Larmour, Jordi Murphy, Tadhg Beirne for coming into a real furnace and coming out on the other side.
“I hope that furnace helps them become the diamonds that we need.
“The provinces do a great job looking after the players and making sure they have enough juice in the tank. I don’t think we could play again next week, though, I think all that juice has gone.”
Australia coach Michael Cheika said: “It could have gone either way, it was pretty tight. Some things didn’t go for us, you need something to go your way but perhaps they managed the sin bin periods better.
“We have got to lick our wounds a little, I really feel for our supporters and I promise them we will be back against New Zeland in better shape.”
Ireland try scorer CJ Stander said: “We knew it was going to be a cup final for us coming down here, especially as it was the last game of the season.
“We just got out there and gave it 100 per cent. We knew Australia would attack us from minute one. We pride ourselves on our defence. They came at us wave after wave for the last 20 minutes and we stood up and I am immensely proud of the guys.”
Australia No. 8 David Pocock said: “It was a great battle. Each week we were trying to analyse their game and see what weaknesses of ours they were going to try to target.
“But credit to them, maybe their game management was a little better across the series.”