Monday 5 December 2016

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Hugh Farrelly

Published 19/09/2011 | 05:00

ROB KEARNEY

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Rough start in his showdown against Beale with a high tackle and jump-off failure but grew into the game superbly, running hard and providing his usual security at the back.

TOMMY BOWE

Ireland's most threatening attacker was hungry for ball and effective on it, although he will know to mark the quick line-outs in future. Brilliant intercept deserved a try.

BRIAN O'DRISCOLL

In the wars again and, given what he has put his body through over 12 years of international rugby, this was another inspirational display. He was still felling Aussies at the end.

GORDON D'ARCY

Knew he needed a big performance and this was much better from O'Driscoll's long-standing henchman as the Irish midfield dominated their callow opponents. Unlucky to be forced off early.

KEITH EARLS

With Andrew Trimble breathing down his neck, Earls needs to keep producing. He did that again with a lively showing on the left wing -- his stepping unsettled the Aussies.

JONATHAN SEXTON

Place-kicking difficulties were a concern again but Sexton had some big moments and the garryowen tactic worked very well. Looked good once again when he moved inside next to O'Gara.

EOIN REDDAN

Was targeted by the Wallabies, who had some joy scragging the Ireland No 9 at the base, but Reddan has a consistent level of performance and enjoyed operating behind a dominant pack.

CIAN HEALY

Relished every aspect of this contest and Healy's scrummaging has developed superbly alongside his energetic loose game. Man of the Match award was well deserved. Now among elite.

RORY BEST

Not a night for the Irish line-out and one throw went awry but Best had a big overall game and, with Jerry Flannery out, his wellbeing is essential to Ireland's hopes.

MIKE ROSS

The chief enforcer in the most decisive area of the game, this was an outstanding performance by the tight-head, who should get a well-earned rest before squaring up to the Italians.

DONNCHA O'CALLAGHAN Always a good barometer, O'Callaghan outshone his South African-born opponent Dan Vickerman (who had been billed as the 'enforcer') in a performance that typified Irish fervour on the night.

PAUL O'CONNELL

Immense. The one upside to O'Connell's long lay-off last season is the freshness he he has brought to the World Cup and the second-row ripped into the heart of the Aussies time and again.

STEPHEN FERRIS

His knee may need to be carefully managed but Ferris is back to his 2009 best -- his pick-up trucking of Will Genia is a cert for the World Cup highlights reel.

SEAN O'BRIEN

His passion was evident during the anthems and O'Brien carried it with him into contact. The No 6 jersey may suit him best but this was another mighty display from the Tullow man.

JAMIE HEASLIP

Quade Cooper may not have realised it but this was a night for rolling up the sleeves and getting stuck in and Heaslip mucked in with gusto. Growing into the tournament.

Ronan O'Gara 7

( D'Arcy 50)

Top-quality contribution once again, O'Gara presence ensured there would be no late slip-ups and he looked good again next to Sexton.

Conor Murray 7

(Reddan 58)

Keeping the heat on Reddan with another confident performance. Unlucky to be denied a try after stepping the cover beautifully.

ANDREW TRIMBLE 5

(Kearney 75)

The in-form Ulsterman should have a big impact next weekend; did not have enough opportunity here.

TOM COURT 5

(Ross 77)

Coming on for a five-metre scrum in the dying minutes was a big ask and an Australian penalty was the result.

DECLAN KIDNEY 9

(Ireland coach)

Got his game-plan bang on and had his players at the perfect mental pitch for their pool-defining contest.

Irish Independent

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