Full Ireland player ratings as Ross Byrne's late penalty beats stubborn Aussies
IRELAND 13-10 AUSTRALIA
Ireland welcomed a Wallabies side to Dublin that are desperate for a victory after pushing France close, only to lose to Italy. Our Ireland player ratings show how tough a night it was for the world No.1 side.
In the end, it took a late penalty from Ross Byrne - a guy that started the day outside of the match-day squad - to defeat a dogged Wallabies side.
Andy Farrell made several changes from last weekend's XV for the Fiji game but, in reality, there was just one switch from the team that started against South Africa. Heading into the tie, Farrell warned the Wallabies remain a team to be wary of, despite their losses to France and Italy. He said:
"I’m sure that they will be using last week as motivation, and obviously putting that together with coming to the Aviva and taking our scalp, I’m sure that fires them up even more. The Australians are a great team to watch. They play a great brand of rugby, and knowing what they’re going to bring the party on Saturday night, it’s going to make for a brilliant spectacle."
Follow all the big action, and watch all the big clips, in our live news feed (below) and check out our full Ireland player ratings.
IRELAND PLAYER RATINGS
Hugo Keenan - 6
Quiet enough game for the fullback, as Ireland never really got motoring. Couple of missed tackles.
Mack Hansen - 7
Lovely, early kick-chase. Class offload to Gibson-Park but was just in touch, so no try. Was the man that tried to make things happen. Not perfect, but lively and threatrening.
Garry Ringrose - 7
Mighty defensive hit when Ireland were under early pressure. Takes upon himself to give that fast press on the opposition attack, but fell off a few tackles. Got his hand in to swat the ball away, and end a promising Wallabies attack.
Stuart McCloskey - 6
A couple of bruising carries, but did not have as much impact as he did against South Africa and Fiji. Flattened Bernard Foley on one carry.
Jimmy O'Brien - 6
The crowd was abuzz whenever he was in possession. Timed one pass to Mack Hansen to perfection, to give him a one on one. Got infected by the malaise that affected the rest of his team with a poor knock-on, on 60 minutes.
Jack Crowley - 6
Welcome to the big time! Took one ball on the charge, off an Irish line out. Nailed his first kick at goal, but followed orders to kick for the corner, just before half-time.
Jamison Gibson-Park - 5
Flubbed an early box-kick take. Thought he was over for a try but that was chalked out for a Hansen foot in touch. Good kick-chase, going into the final quarter. Very stop-start game, which got him out of his flow.
Andrew Porter - 6
Was throwing himself around, and letting the Aussies know they were in a game. Won Ireland a turnover at the breakdown.
Dan Sheehan - 6
Denied in the left-hand corner with one close call from a rolling maul. Lovely carry and offload to start the second half off. Had a lineout throw handily stolen, on 63 minutes.
Tadhg Furlong - 6
Got about the park well and made some crucial tackles in defence. Scrum was starting to creak by the time he came off.
Tadhg Beirne - 7
Had his first turnover within five minutes. Gave away a breakdown penalty, over on the right flank. Knew he was in a fight, but one of the better Ireland starters.
James Ryan - 6
Some big carries in the opening exchanges. Took over the captaincy for the final 30 minutes. Win will do his captaincy confidence wonders.
Peter O'Mahony - 5
Took over the captaincy, just before kick-off, and there was PLENTY to chat about with an over-officious referee. Made a first half turnover but his call to go for the corner, just before half-time, back-fired. Same again, after 50 minutes, as the Aussies defended stoutly. Replaced by Jack Conan after 50 minutes.
Josh van der Flier - 6
Made some big breakdown plays in the first half, even with the Aussies intent on targeting and (twice) going so far as to neck-roll him.
Caelan Doris - 8
Got isolated on an early carry, and was turned over. Was the best Irish ball-carrier in the first half, and got over the gainline on a few carries. Won his side two turnovers.
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Jack Conan (for O’Mahony ’50) - 5
Made a couple of decent carries.
Bundee Aki (for Stuart McCloskey '53) - 8
Back playing after an eight-week ban, and scoring a vital try.
Joe McCarthy (for Tadhg Beirne '60) - 5
On for his Test debut. Pinged for not getting out of a ruck quick enough.
Finlay Bealham (for Furlong '63) - 7
Craig Casey (for Gibson-Park '63) - 7
Pace and the right pass picked for that Bundee Aki try.
Ross Byrne (for Crowley '68) - 6
His first action was to throw an offload, under pressure, to a Wallaby. Kicked a penalty under pressure to make it 13-10.
Rob Herring (for Sheehan '68) - 7
Cian Healy (for Porter '68) - 7
A victory for Andy Farrell's side was their 12th in succession at Aviva Stadium, equalling a record set when Joe Schmidt was head coach.
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*Photographs by Sportsfile
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