Ireland edged out Australia 26-21 to level the series heading into a decider in Sydney next week.

Andrew Conway opened Ireland’s account while Tadhg Furlong added a second try towards the end of the match.

It was a nervy start for Ireland has Kurtley Beale carved Ireland open within two minutes for the opening score of the match. However Ireland had a man advantage four minutes later when Marika Koroibete was sent to the bin for a tip tackle on Rob Kearney.

Ireland were clinical and worked a maul towards the centre of the pitch which opened up the blindside for Andrew Conway to sneak in after a lovely floated pass from Conor Murray.

Ireland finished the sin bin period with a six point lead after two Sexton penalties which followed after direct play that put pressure on Australia. Sexton added another just before the 20 minute mark.

A penalty try and yellow card to Cian Healy brought Australia back into the contest after 25 minutes. Ireland finished their man disadvantage positively however and should have scored. Tadhg Furlong broke down the centre of the pitch but could not find Garry Ringrose on the outside.

Another opportunity presented itself to Ireland as Jordan Larmour escaped an Australian tackler. Ireland could not remove Pocock from the breakdown and Australia secured the turnover.

Ireland started the second half positively by working their way up to the Australian line with a succession of great carries but the attack was once again foiled by David Pocock.

Another golden opportunity when Sexton flicked a delicate ball in to Earls who broke into the the Australian 22m. Jack McGrath was too eager, conceding conceded a penalty for a double movement and Keith Earls was adjudged to not have the ball in his possession when he crossed. Nevertheless, Tadhg Furlong got the decisive score for Ireland.

With a nine-point lead as the final 15 minutes approached, Ireland were in command as O’Mahony and Jordi Murphy began to pop up with crucial turnovers which kept Australia on the back foot. Sexton added hios fourth penalty of the evening.

Five minutes of the match remained when Jack McGrath was sent to the sin bin for deliberately knocking the ball on in the ruck. It was the correct decision however the referee failed to show Bernard Foley a yellow card for an intentional knock on in the middle of the pitch earlier in the game. Taniela Tupou crossed to make it a five point game.

Ireland’s defence stood strong and forced a knock on to end the game. Plenty of positives were on show, such as the ferocity in defence and direct attacking moves, however Joe Schmidt needs to work on a plan to negate the impact of David Pocock once more.

Roll on next week.

6.4 Awesome

Peter O'Mahony and Tadhg Furlong were Ireland's stand out players. The former was a menace at the breakdown and while I did not agree with the legality of all of his turnovers he popped up with a crucial play at a pivotal time.
Furlong was a ball carrying threat for Ireland and would have received a higher rating if he had offloaded to Ringrose in the first half! I'm sure he will be gutted...
Sexton composed the Irish backline while Murray provided the delicate touch for Ireland's opening try.

  • Cian Healy` 5
  • Niall Scannell 5
  • Tadhg Furlong 8
  • James Ryan 7
  • Devin Toner 7
  • Peter O'Mahony 8
  • Dan Leavy 5
  • CJ Stander 6
  • Conor Murray 7
  • Johnny Sexton 7
  • Keith Earls 7
  • Robbie Henshaw 7
  • Garry Ringrose 7
  • Andrew Conway 6
  • Rob Kearney 6
  • Rob Herring 6
  • Jack McGrath 5
  • Andrew Porter N/A
  • Tadhg Beirne 6
  • Jordi Murphy 6
  • John Cooney N/A
  • Joey Carbery N/A
  • Jordan Larmour 7
  • User Ratings (2 Votes) 4.1

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