Sunday, November 15, 2009
Australias hopes for a Grand Slam are over as Ireland scored a late try to take their meeting to a dramatic 20-20 draw in front of a capacity crowd at Croke Park.
It was a nail biting finish to an exciting match, as Ireland pounded away at the Wallaby line in the last few minutes. They were rewarded when Brian ODriscoll breezed through a huge gap to score a late try, which was converted by Ronan OGara.
The Wallabies scored early on through winger Drew Mitchell, then Rocky Elsom scored in the 62nd match, which looked as though it could have been the winning try.
Tommy Bowe had scored for Ireland shortly after Australia had opened up a 13-6 lead. Matt Giteau and Ronan OGara exchanged penalties before Wyclif Palu was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Rob Kearney.
The Wallabies held off Irelands late onslaught, but eventually the pressure told as the gap opened and ODriscoll did the rest.
"We felt like we left a lot of good opportunities out there, and big improvements can be made, but there were pleasing aspects from the game, ODriscoll said afterwards.
"We hung on until the death when things weren't going brilliantly for us and that is the mark of a good side. We gifted them an early try and had to battle our way back into the game.
"That was down to a bit of miscommunication between me and Ronan and it gave them a headstart.
"We had to play catch-up and that makes it difficult against a good side like Australia, he added.
Wallaby captain Rocky Elsom was disappointed to concede the late try that cost his side the shot at achieving a Grand Slam.
"If we had defended that last phase, we would have deserved to win but who would have thought, in his 100th game, Brian would come up with the goods?," asked Elsom.
"I thought we could have stopped that last play but they executed it really well."
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