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.