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Toulon do the double with Top 14 win


Closing montage from Heineken Cup final


Tameifuna's huge hit on Michael Hooper


Eddie Butler on Jonny Wilkinson career


Dafydd Howells scores quickest try ever?


Carlos Spencer & Stephen Larkham fight


Bloody Florian Fritz returns to play

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Wallabies claim comfortable victory over Ireland in Dublin

The Wallabies picked up their first back-to-back wins of the year after a 32-15 victory over Ireland in Dublin on Saturday. Quade Cooper was excellent for the visitors, scoring 17 points in total, including one of Australia's four tries.

Having had a tough year that included a Lions series loss, poor Rugby Championship and an opening tour match defeat to England, the Wallabies have bounced back with a strong win over Italy, and now this convincing victory over Ireland, who would have fancied their chances.

Flanker Michael Hooper put in a Man of the Match performance, scoring two of his teams tries.

"They were my first Test tries so a good night for me," said Hooper post match.

"Back-to-back wins are terrific and something we have been working towards. Now we have to build further on it in next week's game against the Scots."

Ireland lost Lions flyhalf Jonny Sexton at halftime to a hamstring injury, perhaps changing the flow of things as the Wallabies dominated the second half and pulled away on the scoreboard.

"I felt we had fought our way back into the game at half-time," said Ireland coach Joe Schmidt. "Losing Sexton didn't help. Madigan fought really hard but unfortunately the result is what it is."

Things ended on a bit of a sour note as Tevita Kuridrani was sent off for a dangerous spear tackle in the closing minutes. Disciplinary matters were further compounded today with the news that six Wallabies have been handed a one match ban for drinking in the build up to the match.

Nine other players received warnings as more than half of the 32-man squad were out drinking in Dublin on Tuesday night, with festivities going well into Wednesday morning.

"We're setting up the right behaviours and setting the right standards to be competitive at the World Cup and obviously we need to be presenting the right image," said coach Ewen McKenzie.

Ireland host the All Blacks next weekend, while Australia have a meeting with Scotland. 

Posted at 4:16 pm | 25 comments

Viewing 25 comments

BestHookerInTown November 18, 2013 5:32 pm

Well done to the Australia on a terrific win. They played brilliantly and ran the ball well with lots of confidence. Looked dangerous in attack and exploited Ireland well.

Ireland on the other hands were disgraceful. I've never seen an Irish team play so bad, with so many big names in the team. Not taking away from Australia but their defense was awful throughout and you could park a truck in some of the spaces they were that big.

NZ will probably be wondering can they better their highest score record of 60-0 against us at the weekend.

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Nja8 November 18, 2013 5:32 pm

I have never seen an Irish team look so average. Maybe its one season too long for O'Driscoll.

For people that watched this match... Has there ever been a better full back at receiving high balls than Folau? I think teams are better off trying to counter than kicking to him. He jumps as high as a line out and somehow lands and makes yards every time.

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Ando November 18, 2013 5:39 pm

Agreed, I can't think of any rugby player that looks more comfortable/capable under the high ball!

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joe November 18, 2013 7:07 pm

well kearney at his best was awesome also israel dagg and mike brown are great with positioning i think its just folau's unbeleivable athleticism and the height he gets out of a jump sets him apart!

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DanKnapp November 19, 2013 6:23 am

You can see the AFL heritage there!

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Jon November 18, 2013 10:56 pm

He's incredible under the high ball because he played two seasons of Australian Rules football, where taking the high ball is half of the point of the game.
Truth be told, compared to an average Aussie Rules player, he's below average at the high ball (taking a mark in the parlance of Aussie Rules), but in rugby he's better than anyone.
In my opinion, every top rugby team should employ an Ausssie Rules coach to train them in taking the high ball.
A Gaelic Football coach might be able to teach the same thing too.

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Rugby101 November 18, 2013 7:08 pm

It was one of the most embarrassing defeats for Ireland in along while, They lost to a team which were a laughing stock in the Rugby championships and apart from 2 or 3 players are very very average. I know it was probably just a once of bad performance by Ireland but looking ahead to this weekend against The all blacks its so hard to see them putting up a challenge.

And on a selection note Eoin Redden does provide faster ball but sometimes i really do worry for him with some of the choices he makes like looking at the first try he gave away. And another average performance from Johnny sexton as well as a Terrible display AGAIN by Mike Ross.

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WelshOsprey November 18, 2013 7:29 pm

As great as Sean O'Brien is, he really struggles when the pace gets quicker

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Eddie-g November 18, 2013 8:48 pm

Most notable headline from the latest Aussie booze escapade is that Quade Cooper was not among those who were punished.

Ewen McKenzie, miracle worker.

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Ando November 18, 2013 9:54 pm

Haha that's just what I was thinking! Scanned the list for his name - the last of the "Three Amigos" still standing - and was pleasantly surprised to see he wasn't on there. Just maybe he's turned the corner and there's some truth to him maturing as a player - hope so!

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TotesMcGoates November 18, 2013 9:57 pm

If Australia were out on the town on Tuesday then Ireland must have been on an all week bender...

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TotesMcGoates November 18, 2013 10:14 pm

Suspended players are Adam Ashley Cooper, Nick Cummins, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson and Paddy Ryan and Liam Gill.

Written warnings for Dave Dennis, Kane Douglas, Saia Fainga'a, Bernard Foley and Nick Phipps and verbals for Scott Fardy, Mike Harris, Ben McCalman and Nic White.

Not many first team players in there (especially considering AAC is out with a shoulder injury anyway) but it has impacted the bench a fair bit. The Honey Badger is a big loss though.

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Mastersa November 18, 2013 11:13 pm

Touring is not what it used to be. You can't even have a pint in Ireland 3 nights before a match with the following day officially off work? I think Ireland need a couple of rules also.
1. No kicking balls within 100 metres of Falou.
2. Don't believe the hype about your own scrum.
3. Only give the ball to another waring green
4. No napping when they are overlapping.

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BrendonB November 18, 2013 11:17 pm

Somebody should tell these commentators that if you carry the ball across the line you do not need "downward pressure" to score. You only need contact between the ground, ball and hand/arm. They went on and on about there being no downward pressure on the not-given Cummins try, and it's true they're not the only commentators that don't seem to know this. On the basis of the replay I agree with others who have said it was definitely a try as Cummins had his left hand on the side of ball. It had no major effect on the result of course, but these guys are well paid to do a job in a sport I'm sure they love... so learn the laws of the game.

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MattyP November 19, 2013 4:53 am

Erm... There is.
Law defines a try: "Try. When an attacking player is first to ground the ball in the opponents’ in-goal, a try is scored."

Law 22.1 defined "grounding".
"There are two ways a player can ground the ball:
(a)
Player touches the ground with the ball. A player grounds the ball by holding the ball and touching the ground with it, in in-goal. ‘Holding’ means holding in the hand or hands, or in the arm or arms. No downward pressure is required.12
(b)
Player presses down on the ball. A player grounds the ball when it is on the ground in the in-goal and the player presses down on it with a hand or hands, arm or arms, or the front of the player’s body from waist to neck inclusive. "

Ok so its says presses down on the ball. Not "downward pressure". If you are not "holding" the ball, then you need to press the ball down on the ground.

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dave November 18, 2013 11:26 pm

I think the Irish are guilty of getting a little bit cocky, they talked all week about how they were going to maul them in the scrum and when you talk like that about the aussies they beat you
as an england fan this is what went through my mind when they beat england in 2012
you think their scrum is weak and then they best you
for next week I still think the irish have very little chance
the irish are going to play their best game but the ab's will get their chances and the game will run riot when the irish tire,
look for a similar score as this game to the ab's versus ireland

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flanker2712 November 19, 2013 12:15 am

A similar score? I'm Irish and I'd happily take that!

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Juggernauter November 19, 2013 3:02 am

Wow how's that for skill by Fardy? Ball in two hands, fend, switch hands, out of the back pass. Exceptional.

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AK-NZ November 19, 2013 6:15 am

That's exactly what I thought. I'm really pleased to see the Aussie forwards carry and pass the ball like that, AND score tries. I thought that, and Cooper's running line for his try were exceptional pieces of skill.

I didn't watch the full match, but the Wallabies appear a bit more composed, particularly from their set piece play, than they have done for large periods this year. It's good to see them (hopefully) on the mend. I'm keen to see how Ireland go against the ABs this weekend, being the last match of their season. The thing I love about Ireland, is their capacity to be a really tenacious side. A home match, against a team on the verge of being the first to earn a perfect season in the professional in era, and who have never lost to them... I think the score might be slightly closer than many think. They certainly showed a lot of passion in the second test last year and against the Aussies at the WC. Something that the All Blacks will have to respect. I've been looking forward to this test for a while now, can't wait.

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ConnachtMan November 19, 2013 12:50 pm

Classy running lines by the Aussies, great to see back lines running with the ball in both hands ( I am coaching minis and tell em carry in 2 hands , not tucked under the arm). Very poor irish performance, not taking away from the class of the aussies, New Zealand will spank us BIG time. I lament the fact that the Aviva is so souless, 0 atmosphere, loud music and too many non rugby fansat an the event. Better off watching at the local pub in Dublin.

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BrendonB November 19, 2013 1:07 pm

@MattyP. I have to post here, the reply function has gone a bit random.
Read (a) again. The player only needs to be holding the ball in hand or arms when it touches the ground. Cummins crossed the line with the ball and still had it in one hand when it touched the ground. It specifically states that no downward pressure is required. How much clearer does it have to be? You have 100% confirmed my point by quoting the IRB law.
In case (b) the ball is already on the ground in the in-goal. That is, he/she has not carried it over the line as Cummins did. In this case the player must press down on the ball.
Search Wikipedia "Try" which clearly states these again with reference to how they differ from League definitions.

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themull November 19, 2013 9:45 pm

yes but to me it looked like he lost control just as he was grounding it meaning the ball was not in his hand when it touched the ground, or at least not in his possession and therefore it was correctly called a knock on to me...

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MattyP November 20, 2013 3:01 am

I am of the view that he was not holding the ball. In that case, downward pressure is required to score a try. If you are of the view that he was still "holding" the ball, then we are disagreeing on facts, not law. So be it.

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finedisregard November 19, 2013 3:05 pm

I like Ewen McKenzie's commitment to discipline, but I don't want to live in a world where rugby players can't have some drinks with their teammates on a tour after a big win.

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BrendonB November 19, 2013 10:19 pm

@themull.
I agree that it's a close thing and a "no-try" doesn't really surprise me, the TMO said that it was a knock on too. My point is that it was nothing to do with downward pressure because as even MattyB's post proves, the IRB do not require it unless the ball is already just lying on the ground. I'm not Aust but I watched the Aust feed and I agree with their half-time comments that the call could have gone either way. Anyway no big deal.

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