Ireland 27-24 Australia: rugby union autumn international – as it happened

Last modified: 07: 57 PM GMT+0

Ireland had to dig deep to see off Australia, but in doing so became the first northern hemisphere team since 2003 to beat the Wallabies, All Blacks and Springboks in a calendar year

Thank you and good night.


Rory Best looks like he’s about to burst into tears. What a performance on his 100th cap. What a guy. “Today has been everything I wanted it to be and a little bit more too,” he says.

In Auckland, Paul Herbert appreciates Best’s work: “Any team that beats the [redacted] Aussies is great by me,” he writes. “Well done Ireland and what a great run you’re having. Keep on guys. Love your game.”


Michael Cheika is not very happy. Sky asks him if he has ‘beef’ with the officials – ‘you know you’re not supposed to ask me about that ... I won’t talk about that.”

Matthew Fisher is in my inbox saying Australia were ‘blown off the park’ by the referee. Not sure I agree - just thought Ireland were better - but that is fine. Was a great game.

Meanwhile, John McEnerney is waving his arms.

@willis_macp I'll hold my hand up & say I thought they'd do us but that was savage stuff by Ireland. Fair play I won't doubt ye lot again!

— John McEnerney (@MackerOnTheMed) November 26, 2016


Ireland win superb Test 27-24 and are first northern hemisphere team since England 2003 to beat SA-NZ-Aus in same year. Aus slam bid busted.

— Alex Lowe (@AlexMLowe) November 26, 2016

John Rogers is a very happy man.

@willis_macp I give out a lot but that was immense. Credit to Schmidt and team. Great end to the year. Bring on 6N!

— John Rogers (@JohnRogersShow) November 26, 2016

Australia’s hopes of a grand slam are over. That is an extraordinary effort from Ireland, who lost Trimble, Payne and Kearney to deepen their injury crisis. What a game.

Ireland’s captain Rory Best celebrates with teammates at the end of the match.
Ireland’s captain Rory Best celebrates with teammates at the end of the match. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA



Ireland win the penalty at the scrum and that is that!! Ireland win!!

81 min Scrum to Australia. Quade Cooper is on. Scrum reset on Australia side.

80 min Jackson not only sticks it into touch, he puts it into the stands. Cronin finds the man. It’s uncontested. Ireland chew up seconds, and now they are on the move. But it’s a scrum to Australia! Mumm has held them up!!! Clock is red.

Yellow card! Foley 79! Ireland 27-24 Australia

79 min Murray gives it back with a boxkick and things get very loose. After a few phases Ireland have turned it over!! They have the penalty, too .... Nigel Owens wants a word with the ref and Bernard Foley has been binned!

Devin Toner is tackled high by Bernard Foley.
Devin Toner is tackled high by Bernard Foley. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA


78 min Again Cronin finds Dillane. Murray does well. Ireland slow it down.

77 min Folau gathers Ringrose’s kicks and as Australia go left, they are bundled into touch! Naivalu can’t find Kuridrani. Not long left.

77 min Sean Cronin comes on for Rory Best, who has played very well on his 100th cap. Cronin finds his man. Murray boxkicks, Folau gathers and Haylett-Petty is snagged by Ringrose! Australia cannot get out! Genia boxkicks and Carbery takes.

76 min Bealham under big pressure on the tighthead side. Stander is at No8 niow, and he picks up under pressure – Australia do not roll away and that is a PENALTY! Jackson pummels it into touch, but they are still in their own half.

Will Genia attempts to stop CJ Stander.
Will Genia attempts to stop CJ Stander. Photograph: Matt Browne/Sportsfile/Getty Images


75 min A third reset. Ireland could have been penalised there I reckon.

74 min This scrum is a right old mess. Calm before the storm. Another reset.

It’s 27-24 to Ireland with six left.

73 min Aus get a big shove on but Garces says we’re gonna have a reset. Of course we are.

Wales beat South Africa 27-13

Bit busy with the Ireland game, lads.

72 min Australia shove the penalty from halfway down toward the 22. They win at and drive big, but Ringrose pulls off an absurd turnover in the choke tackle! Ireland scrum!

71 min Furlong is off and Finlay Bealham comes on. Aus win the lineout, do a wee wrap around and then go right. A very flat pass from Genia goes out but Ireland are penalised for naughty work at the ruck.

70 min There are more twists in this game yet. Tadgh Furlong gets treatment and gets up to scrum. It’s about 10m out from their own line and, they win it, then bosh. Murray shoves it into touch with a very good boxkick.

Wales are 27-13 up as Tipuric scores.

69 min Australia go right and it’s slick. Kuridrani, Naivalu. Infield, then right again, at real pace. McMahon is on and carries, then another sub, Slipper. Are they in?! Not quite, the last pass is wild from Kuridrani and Hodge can only knock on!!

68 min Zebo gathers the kick-off. Murray does not find touch. Australia come back through Haylett-Petty then Hodge.

Try! (Earls 65) Ireland 27-24 Australia

66 min Van der Flier carries, then Healy. Knocking on the door. Jackson, then Stander. They go left, Zebo finds Earls and he scores in the corner!!!!!!!!

This is very wide, but Jackson scores the conversion.


Keith Earls goes over to score the third try for Ireland.
Keith Earls goes over to score the third try for Ireland. Photograph: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile/Getty Images


65 min This is kickable (35m out on the left), but Jackson puts it in the corner. Best finds Toner. They rumble. Still 10m out, but moving. Out it goes. O’Mahony charges.

64 min Still advantage as Dillane half-breaks. They have gone back 20m in this advantage, but finally it comes. Was for a high tackle on Ringrose.

Ultan Dillane tries to braek through but is tackled by Reece Hodge of Australia.
Ultan Dillane tries to braek through but is tackled by Reece Hodge of Australia. Photograph: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile/Getty Images


63 min Best finds Toner at the lineout. They go right, but with no great conviction or threat. Left now, and Ringrose carries. Advantage as they go through the phases.

62 min Ireland make more changes. Bench nearly empty. Healy and O’Mahony on for McGrath and Heaslip. Australia go from deep again but it backfires as Zebo finds a huge hit. Australia scramble away a massive kick through Hodge, who can really play.

Penalty! (Foley 60) Ireland 20-24 Australia

This is right in front of the posts and the lead is now four.

60 min Australia have the advantage, which the kick away. Foley will go for the posts. Heaslip did not roll away.

59 min Australia are coming from deep and Haylett-Petty is charging up the right like a Sherman Tank. Then it’s Hooper carrying. Ireland are BLOWING

Yes, yes.

@willis_macp Note to Ireland from Pat Lam... STOP KICKING AWAY THE DAMN BALL!

— John Rogers (@JohnRogersShow) November 26, 2016

Try! (Naivalu 56) Ireland 20-21 Australia

58 min Genia goes right, and a little loop frees the new man Naivalu who runs a great line very hard and is in! He speeds round and gets close to the posts too, so Foley can convert and give Australia the lead!

Sefanaia Naivalu goes over for the third Australian try.
Sefanaia Naivalu goes over for the third Australian try. Photograph: Matt Browne/Sportsfile/Getty Images


56 min Speight off, and Sefa Naivalu of the Rebels on. Henderson, the scorer for Ireland, goes too and Dillane comes on. Ireland work hard to disrupt the lineout but the ball comes out and Folau carries. They are hammering away here.

55 min Australia have rapid lineout ball, but after one phase, Foley wastes it with a poor crosskick that Zebo marks and sticks into touch.

54 min Ireland turn it over and McGrath carries well. The ball goes to Australia, then back to Ireland through Marmion, who has good feet. Oh dear. Zebo has booted it straight out.

53 min Fields of Athenry time. Murray puts it in. They try to bosh their way out through Ringrose, then Murray boxkicks but finds Haylett-Petty, not touch.

52 min The scrum needs resetting, of course it does.

51 min What has happened there? Pocock has sprinted out of the line and Murray has passed it straight to him. That’s a surprise turnover (how can he be onside?!) and Australia go left. They nearly score, but Foley knocks on in the left corner as they get a little cute.

Penalty! (Jackson 49) Ireland 20-14 Australia

Eventually that advantage ends and Ireland will go for the posts. Pocock had wrapped Marmion up and would not release. The penalty is 24m out, just to the right, and Jackson scores.


48 min Ireland win a penalty as Marmion snipes and the Aussies don’t roll away. Advantage played.

Try! (Kuridrani 45) Ireland 17-14 Australia

47 min They are not far out now Aus, and they go left, through the hands tidily and Kuridrani goes over in the corner! Marmion came in to try cut off Folau, but the last pass went and over Kuridrani went. Foley, from the left touchline, converts. What a kick.

Kuridrani has scored in every game on tour.

Tevita Kuridrani puts the ball down to score the second try for Australia.
Tevita Kuridrani puts the ball down to score the second try for Australia. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images


45 min Hooper wins the lineout under pressure and Australia have a bit of intent now. They are going through the phases, probing Ireland’s defence.

Robin Hazlehurst and an upset South African on a pub crawl want the Wales-SA score: it’s 20-6 to Wales.

44 min So Ireland scrum 5m out. They win it, make some metres, then Murray puts in a big boxkick to touch!

43 min Murray kicks to touch and Australia go right. Hooper goes through, Australia go left and Henry Speight scores in the left corner!

Or has he?! Nigel Owens, running the left touchline, says the last pass, from Pocock, is forward! No try!

41 min Marmion’s first act - on the right wing - is to bundle Australia into touch after a poor Jackson kick gives the ball away. Ireland win the lineout and go from deep.

We are back

Bernard Foley kicks off. Here we go. Kieran Marmion is on for Jared Payne ... Marmion is a scrum-half and Payne a centre.

Wales have scored! They are 20-6 up.

England women giving Canada a good pasting at Twickenham.


67' ENG 39-6 CAN

Claire Allan finishes off a well-worked try. 🌹

— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) November 26, 2016

Half-time: Ireland 17-7 Australia

Woof. Another breathless half. It seemed hard to imagine the Wallabies going in pointless and they scored with the last play of the half with their first proper move. Lovely stuff. Ireland have lost Kearney and Trimble but have looked pretty good.

Try! (Haylett-Petty 39) Ireland 17-7 Australia

40 min So, an Aussie lineoit on the Ireland 10m line. They go off the top then recycle. Folau hits the line hard and offloads to DHP, who darts through to score!

That’s just a brilliant try - Foley converts from under the post and that will be ...

Dane Haylett-Petty scores to put Australia back in the match.
Dane Haylett-Petty scores to put Australia back in the match. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA


39 min Murray spoils Pocock’s No8 pick-up and Ireland turnover! Carbery goes on a great run then Jackson sends it out on the full!

38 min They go left, then right but the defending is relaxed from Ireland. Folau offloads to Kepu, who gives it to Foley. Haylett-Petty chips, Hodge gathers and they are in the 22! Ireland knock on and Australia have some position ...

37m Moore’s lineout is overthrown, so Foley sprints to try clean up and he knocks on. Scrum to Ireland, but Australia get a shove on and pinch it through Hooper!

This is just about the measure of things.

Ireland dominating territory, possession, run metres, penalty count (8-1) and the important one, the scoreboard 17-0. Wallabies in all sorts

— Joe Barton (@joebarto) November 26, 2016

36 min Murray claims restart and thumps it out. Australia have a lineout 30m out.

Try! (Ringrose 34) Ireland 17-0 Australia

35 min Ireland go to the corner again. Best finds his man. Murray’s pass doesn’t, but it rolls to Garry Ringrose, who picks up brilliantly 12m out and goes on a swerving, burrowing run through a busy field to score! The ref wants to have a look, but there’s no obstruction. Jackson pumps through the extra two.

“I was surprised,” says Garces.

Garry Ringrose dives over to put Ireland in control.
Garry Ringrose dives over to put Ireland in control. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters


33 min Best finds his man and they rumble. Great mauling. 10m, then Murray goes right and Zebo is on the end of a huge tackle from Hodge. When they go left they try to be cute, but it goes out. Another penalty! Mumm is back.

32 min Jackson kicks to the 22, on the left. One more play before Mumm’s home.

31 min Right, Trimble is going off. Kearney still not back from his HIA. Carebery joins Zebo - who moves to the wing. Can’t catch a break, Ireland. Another scrum and a big shove from Ireland! Penalty, on halfway!

30 min Trimble, who has been well amongst it, is getting a bit of treatment. Three minutes until Mumm is allowed back on. Trimble is continuing. A scrum, and a bit of a stalemate, until Murray snipes, and sends to Trimble. They go left through Payne, then up the middle with Furlong. Left again and Foley spoils Zebo’s risky offload - scrum to Ireland.

29 min Ireland win said lineout and again run from their own half. When that doesn’t work, Murray boxkicks and Haylett-Petty takes well. Eventually Ireland’s choke tackles work - Stander this timne - and Rory Arnold is held up. It’s a scrum for Ireland.

28 min Folau finally finds space, breaks, and then can only put it in touch with the Kuridrani-seeking offload! Ireland lineout 30m out from their own line.

27 min Murray boxkicks and Australia don’t gather cleanly, but do gather. Australia cannot get going, so try some rough phases.

26 min Ireland win the ball from the kick-off and run from deep. They go wide to Trimble, who makes metres.

Try! (Henderson 24) Ireland 10-0 Australia

24 min Best finds Toner and Ireland drive. With some power. They are making metres when Murray sends them left. Jackson tries the inside ball and Stander very nearly becomes isolated. Pocock’s there, but it comes back and they go left, with Zebo trying a little grubber. it finds Earls and he offloads to Iain Henderson who sprints home! Jackson ... converts.

Iain Henderson dives over the line to score.
Iain Henderson dives over the line to score. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA


23 min Jackson kicks for and finds touch on the right just inside Australia’s half.

Yellow card! (Mumm 22!) Ireland 3-0 Australia

22 min Is Dean Mumm in trouble here? Looked like he picked Furlong up and dumped him at the breakdown. The ref is having his mic fixed. Yep, he’s having a look at the Mumm incident. Lineo (Nigel Owens) thinks it’s definitely a penalty. He could be in big trouble here, because it’s mildly speary. The crowd are incensed, and it’s a yellow card - not red - because Furlong’s head was low in the first place.

Dean Mumm walks off dejected.
Dean Mumm walks off dejected. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA


22 min The Wallabies get a turnover and kick deep, then Earls fails to find touch, so back Australia come. Australia win a penalty as Furlong knocks on at the breakdown. Looked a bit slappy to me.

21 min Pacey match this, except at scrum time. This one is better, and Jackson breaks off the back of it!

What colour is that?!

@willis_macp Keep your updates coming...I'm in Dunedin and the only care about one colour here #COYBIG #irevaus .#TheGuardian

— Austin Gayer (@austingayer) November 26, 2016

20 min Hodge misses touch! And then Zebo sticks it out for him, with not many metres gained. Australia win the lineout, then go right. Foley goes inside to Simmons, who is held up in midfield by Best, and that will be a scrum to Ireland.

Australia’s Henry Speight is tackled by Garry Ringrose.
Australia’s Henry Speight is tackled by Garry Ringrose. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA


19 min Ireland go through the phases with Furlong, then get it wide to Trimble and Zebo, who wriggles. Pocock wins the penalty! Zebo clinging on. Outstanding from Pocock.

18 min Foley’s kick off doesn’t go 10m, which is village, but they play advantage.

Penalty! (Jackson 17) Ireland 3-0 Australia

17 min So this kick is 42 metres out, a little bit to the left. Perfect silence as he lines it up, huge roar as it sails through. Deadlock broken.

16 min Murray feeds, Ireland shove and it pops out left to Zebo. They go right through the forwards, then left through Stander. Pocock has pinched that, but illegally. You have to roll away, lads. Ireland will go for goal this time.

15 min We are having trouble getting this scrum going.

Wales leading in Cardiff thanks to a Halfenny kick. A Halfpenny wholepenalty, if you will.

14 min Ireland come back at Australia, and Jackson thumps up a garyowen. Folau takes brilliantly under pressure from Ringrose, but Ireland win a scrum for a knock-on, just inside Australia’s half.

Jared Payne tries to break through the Australian defence.
Jared Payne tries to break through the Australian defence. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images


13 min Best finds his man and Murray does a very poor kick which is marked deep by Haylett-Petty, who kicks long.

12 min Kearney going off for an HIA. Zebo trots on to replace him at full-back. The scrum, then. Genia feeds and Ireland get a shove on. Genia under pressure but keeps it - eventually Foley gets a big boot away.

11 min Kearney looking groggy as the physio looks at him. Best finds his man this time but Australia have a turnover! It’s a scrum.

10 min Ireland win their throw and rumble. There’s an advantage again. That’s some lovely backs play on the right from Trimble and Kearney! But the Australians scramble, and eventually give away a penalty. Another nudge to the corner from Jackson ...

3-3 in Cardiff fyi.

9 min Ireland win the scrum in their own half and go left at pace. Earls takes it into contact, and the Aussies go offside. Penalty, and Jackson bunts it down into the 22.

8 mins Australia win their scrum and go left at pace. Hodge is flying but gives it away to Ringrose, out of position at No12 today. It goes out, but we go back for an Australia knock-on.

7 min But Ireland steal the lineout through Henderson! They go right, then left at pace. Murray chips over the top, but it runs too far ... oh, he knows something I didn’t. We are having a look at something on the TMO. Kuridrani in trouble for a tackle a few phases back. How confusing: the referee is happy without having had a look. We are going to have an Australia scrum.


6 min Best finds his man this time, but as Ireland go left with pace, a pass from Trimble goes sailing into touch over Earls’ head.

5 min The Aussies challenge and steal through Dean Mumm! Big boot away from the centre Reece Hodge.

4 mins Strange delay, but Jackson has stuck it in the corner again! 5m out, on right hand side.

3 mins Now Henderson carries, still going right. Now McGrath, with Murray in charge. 15 phases, and an advantage for offside. Henderson again, then Best. Trimble cuts a nice line on the 18th phase but it goes loose! They are going back for the penalty.

2 mins Best finds his man. Direct from Ireland, who are going right. Carries from Stander and Toner as they reach a seventh phase. It goes loose and Jared Payne has it! They are 5m out!

1 min Well, the Wallabies gather through Folau. They go from deep, by spinning it wide to Haylett-Petty, although the right-winger is pinged for holding on. It’s kickable, but Jackson has stuck it in the corner. Statement.


Thanks to Paddy Jackson WE ARE OFFFFFFF

The Australia team prepare for the kick-off.
The Australia team prepare for the kick-off. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images


John Rogers is here with some very sensible pre-match thoughts!

“Ronan O’Gara on RTÉ is talking about Rory Best and his ‘mad whisky eyes’.” he writes.

“Anyway, some thoughts... The (over-the-top) coverage of ABs aggression has meant we haven’t asked enough questions about Ireland’s inability to score one try last week despite the majority of possession and 20 minutes with an extra man. Injuries notwithstanding we need to see a more creative attack today against an in-form Australian team. Connacht has some flyers in Adeolokun and O’Halloran. Why doesn’t Joe Schmidt trust them?

“Couldn’t be happier to see Best make his 100th cap. Hearing the Lansdowne Rd roar welcoming this proud son of Ulster and see him shake hands with President Higgins makes you somewhat grateful for all the traditions of this mad little island.”

Good points all. Enjoy the game.

Want, like John, to talk to me? You know you want to.

In the time that it’s taken me to throw that together, the singing has been done. They have answered Ireland’s call!

Tracksuits coming off, kick-off moments away. They are underway in Cardiff.

The players have met the dignitaries, so will now do some singing.

The teams

Here you go then.

Ireland: Kearney, Trimble, Payne, Ringrose, Earls, Jackson, Murray; McGrath, Best, Furlong, Henderson, Toner, Stander, van der Flier, Heaslip

Subs: Cronin, Healy, Bealham, Dillane, O’Mahony, Marmion, Carbery, Zebo

Australia: Folau, Haylett-Petty, Kuridrani, Hodge, Speight, Foley, Genia; Sio, Moore, Kepu, Arnold, Simmons, Mumm, Hooper, Pocock

Subs: Latu, Slipper, Alaalatoa, Douglas, McMahon, Phipps, Cooper, Naivalu

Players are in the tunnel at the Aviva, as the pre-match formalities take forever in Dublin. Rory Best, the fifth Irishman to 100 caps, is first out, with his kids. Ahhh. Here come the rest. Not quite as cute.

In Cardiff, of course, Wales are playing South Africa. Will do my best to keep you abreast of developments there as well as in Dublin.

At Twickenham, the action hasn’t stopped yet. England women are playing Canada. If anyone is still at HQ and reading this nonsense, I’d be intrigued to hear how many people have hung around.

The #RedRoses are in action against Canada Women, stay with us for score updates!

8' ENG 5-0 CAN

— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) November 26, 2016

Eddie Jones is already ramping up the cattiness ahead of next week. Will the Wallabies head to Twickenham chasing a slam?

Jones: 'Australian media in June were very disrespectful. Eager to talk to the referee about the Aussie scrum. Should be fun this week.'

— Ben Coles (@bencoles_) November 26, 2016


Here’s a report of Stuart Hogg-inspired Scotland’s (familiar) win over Georgia.

Hello again. I’m refuelled – a pack of mini cheddars and a blood orange San Pellegrino (the best flavour) and I’m a new man.

And we’ve a new game! Ireland, sans Sean O’Brien (that’s five changes from the team that lost to NZ last week), against Australia. In Dublin.

Here’s John McEnerney’s hot take:

@willis_macp tough 2day 4 Ireland a rejuvenated Aus will want another 6N's scalp after a poor showing in the RChamps! Close but Aus by 9!

— John McEnerney (@MackerOnTheMed) November 26, 2016

If you’re having a bad time of it, just be thankful you’re not trying to leave Twickenham. No Southwest Trains ... miserable.

Anyway. Talk to me!

Scratch what I said before. O’Brien is out.

Breaking News: @SeanOBrien1987 ruled out. @joshvdf to start & @peterom6 on the bench. #TeamOfUs #shouldertoshoulder

— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) November 26, 2016


Hello, me again.

We’ve done England’s [delete as applicable] win/loss/draw against Argentina at Twickenham, and now I don’t even have to change channel for our second game of the day. It’s Ireland, once the slayers of New Zealand against Australia, who are actually on for a grand slam tour, oddly. They need to win this and beat England too, mind. Long way to go.

That loss to New Zealand last weekend took a heavy toll on Ireland. The five-eighths, as they say down under, Johnny Sexton and Robbie Henshaw, are out injured. So is Simon Zebo. Jared Payne and Sean O’Brien have fitness tests, but should start.

One man who is playing is Rory Best, the captain, who wins his 100th cap at hooker. What a nice smiley chap he seems. Here he is with hair!

Enjoy the hundy club bro #tooeasy #💯

— Nick Williams (@nick8williams) November 26, 2016

The Wallabies skipper and hooker is also notching a milestone – do you notch milestones? – as he becomes the equal-second most capped Australian rugby player. Spurious. Yeah, a bit.

At the same time, it’s the battle of the battlers in Cardiff. It’s Wales against South Africa, and Paul Rees reckons the two coaches are in some strife. I will keep at least half of one of my two eyes on that game and look to keep you up to date with the scores.

You can email me! Do that here. You can tweet me! Do that here.


Will Macpherson

The GuardianTramp

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