Johnny Sexton call moments before Andrew Conway's try was pure leadership 4 years ago

Johnny Sexton call moments before Andrew Conway's try was pure leadership

The Ireland outhalf had the Wallabies well scouted on this one.

Sexton definitely had his homework done.


One of the stand-outs from Australia's First Test victory - aside from David Pocock's breakdown masterclass - was their pressing aggression in defence. The Aussies constantly bit in to cramp Ireland as they tried to go wide.

By doing that, however, it left space out on the wings if Ireland could just get the ball there.

Six minutes into the Second Test, Johnny Sexton came up with a play to take advantage of that defensive inclination and the sin-binning of left winger Marika Koroitebe. When the Wallabies No.11 was cautioned for his dump tackle on Rob Kearney, Ireland opted to use their man advantage and kick for touch instead of going for three points.

All standard going, but it was Sexton who then called the audible. After kicking for an attacking Irish lineout, the outhalf gathered in Conor Murray. They chatted briefly before agreeing to the play, with Sexton turning to Andrew Conway:


SEXTON: "Andrew, whaddya say?"

CONWAY: "Sure."

Conway then set off to let the rest of the Ireland backline know what was coming.

Ireland would look to claim the lineout near the back and set up a rolling maul to drag green and gold jerseys towards the posts and away from the right wing. Scannell set the ball rolling with a lovely arc on his lineout throw:


James Ryan took the catch and Ireland, without heaving forward much, managed to engage six of the opposition forwards and occupy scrumhalf Will Genia.

Murray then sold the pass left well with a simple but of well-sold head movement. Robbie Henshaw [highlighted below] is the supposed recipient of Murray's next pass but Sexton sets the next part of the play in motion.

Hold, hold, hold... go! Conway gets the nod and sets off.


The only Wallabies player that spots the play is Dane Haylett-Petty but he's over on the left wing and needs to get his skates on. He commits to leaving his post and sprinting off but he has almost 30 metres to make up.

Murray takes a second or two longer to extricate the ball from Ireland's maul but he gets it out and sets off. Genia is the furthest Australian player left out wide.

The Ireland No.9 still needs to pull out some magic. Sexton is making a big show of presenting for the carry but what we can't see from the next still is that Conway is unmarked out wide.

Genia has to take Sexton and hope Murray does not throw a gem of a pass...


Fat chance.

Murray loops a 10-metre pass over Genia's head just as Brandon Paenga-Amosa sinks in a tackle.

Conway still has to take the pass over his head and secure it but he has the jump on Haylett-Petty. The Australian winger gets there just before Conway crosses the tryline but the Ireland No.14 has too much momentum. Try Ireland.

Take a look at the play in all its' glory:

Credit: FOX Sports

Australia were always going to be stretched as they were a man down but Sexton, Murray, Conway and the Irish pack played this one perfectly.

Joey Carbery's general play was good in Ireland's opening game of the tour but this is why Sexton is one of the very best there is, and a fine on-field leader.