Ireland rounded off a remarkable 2022 season as the number one team in the world courtesy of a 13 – 10 wins over the Wallabies.
The game itself was a cagey affair from start to finish with nothing separating the two sides.
For Ireland the win will be particularly sweet as they had to do it without their talisman and captain Johnny Sexton.
Sexton pulled out a mere ten minutes before kick-off with a calve issue being reported as the issue.
Thus, Munster’s young star Jack Crowley was thrust into the starting line-up and delivered a very solid, measured and clinical performance.
It was his replacement Ross Byrne who will deservedly be gaining all the plaudits for landing an incredible long-range penalty to win the kick for Ireland.
What makes the kick even more impressive is that the referee was rushing Byrne to take his shot and therefore rushed his routine. In spite of the added pressure, Byrne proved he has ice in his veins when it matters as he blasted the ball through the uprights.
Byrne who has had a tough go of it thus far in his Irish career having been involved in some heavy losses which had appeared to all but end his time in the Green jersey.
A constant performer for Leinster, many have called for Byrne to be replaced by his younger brother Harry as well other options such Ciaran Frawley and now Crowley.
Despite the outside noise Byrne has ticked along brilliantly for Leinster and this performance will have exercised some demons and thrust him right back into the picture for next year’s World Cup.
❄️ Ice cold from @Ross__Byrne ❄️
— Autumn Nations Series (@autumnnations) November 19, 2022