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23rd Nov 2014

Australian media and former rugby stars react to Ireland’s thrilling win

Matt Giteau praised Irish players such as Paul O'Connell for defending like beasts

Patrick McCarry

There was much introspection, and hardly any praise for Ireland, after the Wallabies lost 26-23 at the Aviva Stadium last night

The Australian media and many of their former rugby players have given their reactions to Ireland’s pulsating, three-point victory in Dublin on Saturday. Here are some of the best comments nd opinions.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported: ‘Ireland’s triumph was made even more impressive with news that coach Joe Schmidt was taken to hospital with suspected appendicitis. Schmidt watched in agony as Ireland held on for their first win against Australia at home since 2006 and his side has now won seven Tests in a row.’

Writing for Herald Sun, Jamie Pandaram blamed Australian errors rather than emphatic Irish play for the loss. He commented, ‘The amount of times this Wallabies side has lamented ‘that final pass’ this year has become a broken record. When will they talk of nailing that final pass? … What Ireland did was predictable and it worked.’

Fox Sports bemoaned the Wallabies’ lack of urgency after coming back from 17-0 down to level the match. ‘Almost as quickly as the rainbow appeared,’ wrote Jim Tucker, ‘the pot of gold vanished at the end of it because sustaining the rage is not a modern Wallabies trait.’

Ireland v Australia

Mike Penistone from Green and Gold Rugby took a moment to look at the Irish team. He wrote, ‘Ireland offered little in constructive back play after half time. D’Arcy may soon follow Brian O’Driscoll (into retirement), and Sexton needs a centre who can run ahead of him before he makes his trade mark looping run. You can’t run an effective loop running back towards the ball carrier, he has to get in front of you.’

Australia coach Michael Cheika was thanked by an Irish rugby reporter, after the match, for leading Leinster to victory over Toulouse in 2008, and asked if he had a message for his former faithful. He said, ‘It’s hard to like people, then want to go out and smash them… I knew everyone was lying to me when they said good luck.’

The Wallabies face England at Twickenham next weekend and both sides will be desperate to finish 2014 on a winning note. Cheika declared, ‘We go again. You’re not tired when you’re playing for Australia.’

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