Monday 23 October 2017

Bench impact turns the tide

Like many people in the stadium, I feared for Ireland when Bernard Foley put Australia four points ahead, but the bench played its part.

Simon Zebo made a fantastic tackle on Michael Hooper and that wrested the momentum back into the home side's favour.

Australia had to put the ball out and that brought about a concerted period of Irish pressure around two lineouts.

The bench played a big part in that, Cian Healy was involved in two mauls, hit four rucks and had two carries; Peter O'Mahony made two huge carries, Ultan Dillane fired Tadhg Furlong through a hole and that gave Ireland the field-position from which they scored the winning try.

The finishing play is excellent execution, with Keith Earls' width crucial. He hugs the touchline and gives Zebo the space to aim for. It's a small thing, but it makes other people's jobs easier and life difficult for the Australian defenders.

Irish Independent

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