Here’s the match report:
And that is the lot from me. See you next time. Bye!
Andy Farrell speaks to Amazon Prime Video: “I’m absolutely delighted with the win. We found a way, and that’s what good sides do when they are not at their best … Australia made it a street fight out there, especially at the breakdown and set-piece wise, so hats off to them.
“Nobody likes to lose their captain just before the game, but it’s great for us going forwards, finding out about ourselves as a group … it’s awesome, in this window, to find out more about the group and push forward into the Six Nations.
“Ross Byrne has nerves of steel. It takes guts, doesn’t it, to back yourself, and go for it … I’m absolutely delighted for him.
“We might have had a bit of luck today, but we’ve come out on the right side, and we roll on into the Six Nations.”
Busy old day of rugby:
Van der Flier speaks to Amazon Prime Video: “We’re obviously delighted, that was a proper Test match … it was tough going. Really good Australian side … our defence was brilliant … obviously tough losing Johnny [Sexton, to injury] but delighted for the other No 10s, especially Ross [Byrne] getting that kick at the end.”
I tend to agree with Aki there – it was Australia’s quality that didn’t allow Ireland to really build any momentum in their attack.
Bundee Aki speaks to Amazon Prime Video: “We just wanted a performance that we are proud of … tonight was a proper, proper test match. We’re obviously not happy with the way we played, but great credit to Australia, they’ve been playing unbelievably well.
“They work unbelievably hard … that’s just their game … they fight to the end.”
The Wallabies will be devastated with that … they’ve not won for three weeks now and that narrow success in Scotland. They’ve been beaten by France, Italy and now Ireland since then.
Full-time! Ireland 13-10 Australia
The late penalty by Byrne, and Aki’s try, are the key moments! Ireland have now beaten Australia three times in a row … and that’s a clean sweep of wins in the Autumn Nations Series for Ireland.
80 min: Ireland have a lineout. This is over if Ireland win the lineout … but they don’t! Australia can have another go.
79 min: Australia are offside and it’s a penalty to Ireland!
77 min: Nawaqanitawase has been everywhere, he’s had a fantastic game for Australia … anyway, O’Keeffe tells White that he tried to buy the penalty which Australia now have … they kick the penalty for the corner! Australia are going for it!
Penalty! 76 min: Ireland 13-10 Australia (Byrne)
O’Keeffe tells Byrne to hurry up and take the kick, which is ironic. But no matter, Byrne nails it! Ireland lead! Huge kick by Byrne. Can the Wallabies find a way back?
75 min: Ben O’Keeffe awards a penalty to Ireland at the scrum. They play it, but then it’s taken back for the penalty … and Ross Byrne is going for the posts! It’s a tough kick from 45metres out, near the touchline.
74 min: The scrum collapses. It’s reset. “Time off.” Again! This is going to take all night.
73 min: Scrum put-in for Ireland. Ben O’Keeffe stops them for a chat. Again. Anyway, the score is 10-10.
72 min: Leinster’s Ross Byrne comes off the bench for Crowley. Ireland have a fresh fly-half.
Try! 70 min: Ireland 10-10 Australia (Petaia)
Australia earn the right to go wide thanks to a couple of huge carries by Skelton … they have numbers on the right and Petaia dives over! Can Foley convert? Oh yes he can. Brilliant kick, drawn from right to left, and Australia are all square!
69 min: Now Australia have a bash. Skelton makes some metres. Foley prompts. The Wallabies are desperate for a result after last week’s disappointment …
Try! 66 min: Ireland 10-3 Australia (Aki)
Ireland score! We have a ball game on our hands! Some beefy carries take Ireland to within a couple of metres after a well-worked lineout … then Aki smashes over from close range and Ireland have a try! Crowley converts.
65 min: My mistake, it was an Ireland penalty. They kick for the corner … and then hammer away at the Aussie line for a few phases! Australia hold firm … penalty advantage to Ireland.
64 min: White booms a kick upfield but it doesn’t find touch. Ringrose does well to pluck it out of the sky … but then a knock-on soon gives Australia a scrum in midfield.
It’s frustrating for fans of both teams, watching a match like this, but of the two sides, you’d have to say the Wallabies have looked more dangerous with the ball in hand. Ireland just haven’t got going at all. But who is going to hold it all together and nick the win?
62 min: Kellaway off, for Gordon, for Australia. Bealham and Casey are on for Ireland now.
61 min: Ireland look to Aki to exert a bit of pressure on the Wallabies’ defence with a run down the middle. The hosts get some go-forward … and Skelton is pinged for not rolling away at the tackle area. The ball is launched for touch.
60 min: It’s 9.45pm, 1 hr 45 min after kick-off, and we still have 20 mins to play. Stoppages aplenty.
58 min: Keenan launches a good kick for territory deep into the Aussie half. Australia safely win the lineout, then O’Brien spills a garryowen forward.
57 min: Australia win slightly scruffy lineout ball but White then goes on a jinking, darting run into midfield. Ireland still can’t get any fluency when they do have the ball. The extent to which that is the referee’s fault is very debatable.
Penalty! 55 min: Ireland 3-3 Australia (Foley)
It’s all square and still with 25 mins or so to play. It’s certainly not been a classic match but I’ve been enjoying it, oddly.
55 min: Foley has another penalty chance, another chance to level the scores at 3-3. Exciting!
53 min: Skelton is on for the Wallabies, along with Tupou. And Tupou almost immediately goes down clutching his leg. He is taken off, after another scuffle between players from both sides.
52 min: The Australia fly-half Foley sends a good low kick for the corner after a nice looping move in midfield. The score remains 3-0 to Ireland. Bundee Aki is getting ready to come on. Conan is already on, for O’Mahony.
51 min: “Counterpoint - maybe the referee wouldn’t have to blow so often if the players didn’t infringe that often?” emails Andy Flintoff (not that one). “It’s pointless letting the game flow if both sides are keen on disregarding the laws as much as they are doing.”
50 min: White, the scrum-half, is off for Australia with Gordon on in his place.
49 min: Ireland work through some more phases in the Australian 22 … and Australia, with some strong counter-rucking, eventually win a penalty! They celebrate like they’ve scored a try.
48 min: There is a clash of heads between Valetini and Sheehan. The TMO is having a look. Both men were upright as Sheehan carried into contact.
The referee rules that the “danger is very low” and it’s a penalty to Ireland … Valetini has already been replaced and is sitting on the sidelines already.
48 min: “Is the lack of play a referee issue or Ireland being incredibly defensive oriented? With no imagination?” emails Ger Nugent.
I think Australia have been good, and the referee definitely hasn’t helped … and losing Sexton in the warm-up isn’t exactly ideal, is it? Let’s see what Ireland can produce as the second half wears on.
47 min: Disallowed try for Ireland! Superb score by Gibson Park after an attack on the blindside, and a good offload inside by Hansen! But the TMO is having a look … And it’s ruled out for a foot in touch by Hansen.
Australia are back up to 15 men.
43 min: In the absence of two Aussie hookers there is an uncontested scrum in the Wallabies’ half. Ireland now have an attacking lineout and they look to maul it into the 22. Hansen is then skipping through on the right wing having been set on his way by Gibson-Park, but he puts a foot in touch before trying to offload back inside.
44 min: “Can you please highlight that this game is muck due to the horrendous refereeing on display so far,” writes Donough O’Brien on email. “We barely get two minutes of rugby before Ben O’Keefe has his whistle in his gob. It would be really simple to get the game flowing had he just yellow carded the neck rolling at rucks after the second one, or yellow carded one of the high shots. Instead he’s let it descend into a complete farce with five separate neck roll penalties before an Aussie got a yellow. It’s a complete joke of a refereeing display. Sort out the clear foul play from both sides at the ruck and the game will flow. He’s got one job - enforce the rules so the game can be played, and move to disciplining players if they’re not following rules, but he seems determined not to do it.
Donough … you just have (highlighted it). Thanks for the email.
43 min: Again, Ireland build some tempo and work to within a few metres … but then a knock-on stops them in their tracks.
42 min: Ireland work towards the Australia line thanks in part to a muscular carry by McCloskey. But then Michael Hooper nabs the ball out of a ruck, and the latest Irish attack is thwarted.
Second half kick-off!
Robert Kitson was at Twickenham to see England hit back for a 25-25 draw against the mighty All Blacks:
Half-time! Ireland 3-0 Australia
Australia eventually win a defensive lineout that they throw short. They win it. White kicks it out for half-time. Andrew Porter gives him a little shove after trying to close him down, and then there is a scuffle before the players run in for half-time, White and Porter eyeballing each other. Porter then shouts “Come on!” at the crowd, urging them to shout a bit louder, maybe, when the players come back out.
39 min: Stunning last-ditch defence by Australia to keep Sheehan out at close range after he peels off the back of the rolling maul! … Then it looks like Gibson-Park has a foot in touch as he tries to fish the ball out of a pile of bodies.
38 min: Hansen makes a robust run into contact and gets Ireland on the move. A few more phases and a penalty comes, that Crowley kicks for the corner. Can Ireland shove over the try-line having been on the back foot for much of the first half?
37 min: Yellow card for the Wallabies! Fainga’a
The replacement hooker Fainga’a, who came off the bench for Porecki after the HIA, gets 10 minutes for a high tackle.
37 min: Thus far, there have been 139 tackles made by Ireland to 42 by Australia … this is a serious work-out for the Irish defence.
36 min: The Wallabies continue to look bright in attack and continue to pin Ireland back. White is giving good service from No 9 and keeping things moving. And they have willing runners everywhere. It’s not been a classic, more like a training run in this first half.
34 min: Stat attack: Ireland have only spent 17 seconds in the Australia 22. An easy conclusion would be that they are missing Sexton’s ability to orchestrate things … it would probably be the right conclusion, too.
32 min: The fly-half Foley hangs up a perceptive high kick to the Wallabies’ left wing. Nawaqanitawase does brilliantly to grab it, at the second attempt, and then passes back over his own head, to a teammate inside. But then Australia gift possession back to Ireland.
30 min: Australia are still trying to run the ball and play a bit of rugby. They are being cancelled out by an experienced Ireland defence. At least they have been so far.
28 min: It is a scrappy game. Neither team has much in the way of momentum or tempo. The referee now warns both captains that the next high tackle will be a yellow card.
27 min: Kellaway pops up a fine offload on the right wing to Valetini after a big looping pass out wide by (I think) Foley … after 21 phases of Australia attacking, Ireland eventually win a penalty. The captain James Slipper is not happy about something and is having a word with the ref.
25 min: Ireland try to run the ball out from their own 22 but then put boot to ball. I should have mentioned that the No 12, Paisami, went off injured in the first few minutes, with Petaia coming into the action earlier than he would have expected. Porecki has failed his HIA, and is off, with Fainga’a on in his place.
Australia look far more threatening when they have the ball in hand, which will be a concern for Farrell and his attack coach Mike Catt.
24 min: Nawaqanitawase makes a powerful, incisive run on the right wing and tries to offload in contact but he can’t get the ball away cleanly. Danger for Ireland, though. Now Porecki is off for an HIA.
22 min: Brendan Large isn’t happy:
20 min: Foley now has a chance to level the scores from the kicking tee … but he gets it badly wrong, starting it wide outside the right post, and it never comes back in.
18 min: The fly-half Foley chips over the Irish defensive line and towards their 22. Ikitau tries to get on the end of it, sprinting ahead, but Ireland manage to cover. Incidentally Foley’s family, on his father’s side, hail from Cork.
17 min: Australia throw the lineout short. Ireland get the ball back but Holloway does brilliantly to charge down a Mack Hansen kick, and it looks like he might be able to gallop in for a try, but the referee was playing a penalty advantage.
15 min: Now it’s a penalty against Ireland for a high tackle, I think by O’Mahony, and Australia kick it into Ireland’s half.
13 min: A smart diagonal box kick by Gibson-Park buys Ireland some territory and forces Australia into getting a lineout right close to their try-line.
11 min: The scrum-half Nic White kicks in behind the Irish defence. O’Brien tidies it up and kicks it back. The crowd sounds fairly quiet in Dublin … and as I type that, there is a roar as an Irish runner looks to advance into space in midfield.
Penalty! 9 min: Ireland 3-0 Australia (Crowley)
Crowley strokes a nerve-settler through the posts, and Ireland are on the board.
8 min: The Wallabies hooker Porecki is penalised again, this time with Ireland in possession, for not rolling away. Ireland will kick for the posts.
6 min: We remain scoreless after that early let-off for Ireland. Andy Farrell’s men have some ball in the Australian half. Jimmy O’Brien injects some pace for Ireland in midfield, and Hansen has a glimpse of space on the right wing. He puts in a grubber kick but cannot recover it and the Wallabies’ defending is solid.
4 min: Disallowed try for Australia! White is over the try-line having spotted a gap. But the referee asks the TMO for a look at a potential neck roll by a Porecki on Van der Flier … and the score is duly chalked off.
3 min: A break in play, already, due to an injury worry for the Wallabies now.
3 min: Some early ball in the Ireland half for the Wallabies. The work through some phases in a central position towards the hosts’ 22. The ref takes it back for a penalty after playing advantage.
Sexton suffered a calf injury in the warm-up, we are told.
First half kick-off!
The Wallabies get us started.
It’s 8C in Dublin. Commentator says that’s cold. I guess it is, a bit.
It’s anthem time. Ireland’s Call, and everything.
John McEnerney is laughing off Twitter’s supposed demise, and has sent me another tweet, reacting to Sexton’s injury:
Feeling upbeat, Ireland fans? You can email me.
There is a moment of silence for Jerry Holland, the former Munster player and head coach, and Ireland international, who died this week.
Fly-half Sexton ruled out for Ireland
Jack Crowley starts at No 10 for Ireland.
A tweet from the IRFU says Sexton is injured.
Peter O’Mahony will captain Ireland in Sexton’s absence.
Amazon Prime recently aired an interview with the Canberra-born Mack Hansen, who gets a crack at playing the country of his birth this evening.
John McEnerney, over on crisis social media website Twitter, is excited for this one:
Match reports from earlier – Georgia’s enormous win against Wales, and Scotland’s victory against Argentina:
Eight changes for Ireland, including J Sexton returning at fly-half and Gibson-Park alongside him at No 9.
Ireland: Keenan; Hansen, Ringrose, McCloskey, J O’Brien; Sexton, Gibson-Park; Porter, Sheehan, Furlong, Beirne, Ryan, O’Mahony, Van der Flier, Doris. Replacements: Herring, Healy, Bealham, McCarthy, Conan, Casey, Crowley, Aki
For the Wallabies, Mark Nawaqanitawase is retained on the right wing after his debut against Italy and Andrew Kellaway shifts to full-back, at the expense of Jock Campbell. The lock Nick Frost is back in after withdrawing soon before the Italy loss.
Australia: Kellaway; Nawaqanitawase, Ikitau, Paisami, Wright; Foley, White; Slipper, Porecki, Alaalatoa, Frost, Neville, Holloway, Hooper, Valetini. Replacements: Fainga’a, Robertson, Tupou, Skelton, Samu, Gordon, Lolesio, Petaia
Over at Twickenham, England have hit back to draw with New Zealand, 25-25, having trailed by 14 points at half-time:
A clean sweep of the southern-hemisphere “giants” in the same calendar year is Ireland’s for the taking this weekend if they can beat Australia in Dublin. And it is testament to the changing face of international rugby that it would not even be for the first time. They managed it in 2016.
If Ireland win tonight, they’ll have beaten all three southern hemisphere superpowers this calendar year. Irish fans of a certain age are well aware that autumn wins in the season preceding the World Cup only mean so much – but there is no question that Andy Farrell’s men are building momentum very nicely for next year’s showpiece in France.
Australia’s three matches in this Autumn Nations Series, meanwhile, have all been settled by a point: they saw off Scotland 16-15 last month before suffering one-point defeats by France and last week, for the first time, by Italy.
Can Ireland add the Wallabies to their 2022 ‘wins’ column? We’re about to find out.