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Saturday 19 April 2014

Ireland v Australia: The Game at a Glance

Man of the match

Zach Tuohy (Ireland)

On a night when steady efficiency throughout the team, rather than individual brilliance, established Ireland's superiority, the Laois man, who plies his trade in Australia with Carlton, added enough lustre to his performance to merit special mention.

TURNING POINT

After trailing 39-14 in the 48th minute, Australia cut the deficit to eight points early in the final quarter. They had a glorious chance, only for Steven Motlop to hit the woodwork. Ireland outscored Australia 18-4 in the final 10 minutes.

TALKING POINT

Just what has happened the series? Australia sent a weak squad, leaving Ireland in a position where they didn't even have to play particularly well to seize control. So much for Australian pride. This lot would give wimps a bad name.

MAGIC MOMENT

No magic dust on a pleasant autumn night as Ireland systematically dismantled the Australian challenge without really hitting many high notes. Paul Earley had Ireland so well organised that they would probably have done much better if the occasion demanded.

REF WATCH

AN EASY NIGHT FOR MAURICE DEEGAN AND MATT STEVIC. APART FROM A BRIEF FLARE-UP EARLY IN THE FINAL QUARTER, BOTH SIDES WERE ON THEIR BEST BEHAVIOUR.

WHAT THEY SAID

PAUL EARLEY (IRISH MANAGER):

"WE'RE IN A GOOD POSITION BUT WE CAN TAKE NOTHING FOR GRANTED. A COUPLE OF SIX-POINTERS COULD TURN IT AROUND QUICKLY. WE WILL BE LEAVING NOTHING TO CHANCE NEXT WEEK. THERE WERE CERTAIN ASPECTS OF OUR GAME THAT WE WILL HAVE TO LOOK AT AND SEE IF WE CAN MAKE IMPROVEMENTS."

Michael O'Loughlin (Australian manager):

"I was disappointed with our efforts. Our ability to apply pressure was non-existent in the first half. For a team that prides itself on pressure, to chase and tackle, that was disappointing. Our guys got a really big wake-up call. Some guys got found out."

MATCH STATISTICS

Wides: Ireland 9 (9 first half); Australia 8 (3)

Frees: Ireland 12 (8); Australia 16 (6)

Yellow cards: 0

Red cards: 0

WHAT'S NEXT?

Ireland take a 22-point lead into the second Test in Croke Park next Saturday (7.0).

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