Sunday 15 September 2019

Ireland beat Australia to complete Test clean sweep

Simon Zebo, Ireland, skips past the tackle of Nick Phipps, Australia, to score his side's first try off the game
Simon Zebo, Ireland, skips past the tackle of Nick Phipps, Australia, to score his side's first try off the game
Robbie Henshaw, Ireland, is tackled by Ben McCalman, Australia
Simon Zebo, Ireland, sprints past Nick Phipps, Australia, to score his side's first try
Tommy Bowe, Ireland, touches down for his side's second try of the game despite the tackle of Adam Ashley-Cooper, Australia
Tommy Bowe, Ireland, runs free for his side's second try of the game
Paul O'Connell, Ireland, wins a ball from Luke Jones, Australia
Rob Kearney, Ireland, is tackled by Henry Speight, Australia
Jamie Heaslip and Peter O'Mahony, Ireland, celebrate after Ian Madigan, below centre, turns over the ball at the end of the game
Brendan Fanning

Brendan Fanning

Ireland completed their first clean sweep in a three-Test November series since 2006 when they hung on to beat Australia 26-23 in a thrilling match at Lansdowne Road yesterday.

And coach Joe Schmidt, whose record with Ireland is now 10 wins from 13, was hard-pressed to see the day through, given a case of suspected appendicitis.

Schmidt, who had been unwell from earlier in the day, was taken to hospital soon after the final whistle for further examination.

"Joe was in some discomfort, but we rowed in as we always do," defence coach Les Kiss confirmed after the game.

Man of the match Paul O'Connell, who led Ireland's rearguard action as the Wallabies tried desperately to overhaul the three-point deficit, was pleased with the way his side held out.

"We're a lot happier with the way we finished," he said. "It's something we haven't done but to see the quality they brought off the bench for the last 20-25 minutes and for us to be able to defend the way we did and not give them any outs was a very satisfying step forward from South Africa and France."

The Wallabies played most of the attacking rugby and former Leinster coach Michael Cheika, suffering his second defeat in four starts since taking over just before this tour, was happy enough with his team's performance.

"I'm not an excuse maker," he said. "We're still in such early days getting to know how we want to play. Focusing on that the early intensity of a Test match away from home doesn't always work out - we didn't plan it to give away a try immediately - but we showed a resilience and toughness to come back. There is a long week ahead but we didn't give in."

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