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Sore losers: Storm as Australia brand Ireland cheats

AUSTRALIANS were today branded sore losers after accusing Ireland of cheating in the Rugby World Cup.

Double World Cup winner Tim Horan caused a storm today by claiming that Brian O'Driscoll's squad deliberately faked injuries.

Horan claimed he was told of the plan by Irish assistant coach Alan Gaffney in the dressing rooms after the historic win.

Today Ireland and Leinster legend Trevor Brennan said the comments showed why the Australia team were hated on the international scene.

"Ireland had a deliberate plan to fake injuries each time there was a breakdown in play last Saturday, so they could slow the game down and frustrate the Wallabies," Horan said.

Writing for the Herald today Brennan hit back saying his comments were "not the behaviour of a sporting great".

"It's amazing coming from a player of his calibre, winning two world cups and being one of the most exciting backs to ever play the game, to come out with this nonsense," he said.

"It's the reason why the Australian national team is hated in New Zealand, the arrogance from their media and supporters and their lack of grace in defeat doesn't appeal to any sports-loving people."

The Herald's rugby commentator Neil Francis said today that Horan's comments were "better than his pre-match prediction" and Ireland had only been doing what Australia had done for years.

"He and Phil Kearns strolled on the pitch for Fox Sports and noted that the great support for Ireland would in effect be the only time Ireland would have to cheer their team," said Francis.

He added: "Well spotted Tim, it’s about time we got close to the Aussies and Kiwis in terms of playing the game to the limit of the law."

Since Declan Kidney masterminded Ireland's historic win last Saturday the Australian media has ridiculed his tactics and the squad.

Andrew Slack from Sydney's Daily Telegraph said that the Wallabies were "suckered by world's best exponents of rope-a-dope style".

"For a land of poets and musicians, it's ironic that Irish rugby teams don't give a toss about rhythm. All they care about is graft," he said.

Kearns laughed at the fans as they launched a massive roar to welcome the team.

On Fox Sports Australia, he said: "Well they're not going to have much to cheer about tonight, Clarky, so they may as well cheer them on in the warm-up."

Horan later wrote: "Ireland had a game plan and it worked a treat: to slow the game down just for stoppages. They also used the ‘choker tackle’ taught by their defensive coach Les Kiss. They identified that the Australian midfield ran quite upright and successfully held them up to get turnovers."