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Ireland v Australia as it happened

LIVE TEXT COMMENTARY (all times GMT)

606: DEBATE

To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Phil Harlow

1701: Well thanks very much for your company and contributions this afternoon. That was definitely the best game of international union we've seen this weekend. Adios.

Tigersfan on 606: "Well done Ireland. I wish England could play like that rather than the stodgy way they played yesterday."


vinotackler on 606: "I hope the England players and staff were watching this. Australia were unlucky and BOD is a legend for sure."

Australia captain Rocky Elsom on BBC Two: "I think if we'd defended that last phase we'd have deserved to win, but we didn't. We could have stopped that last play but they executed it really well."

Slater582 on 606: "Brian O'Driscoll, 100th cap, what a legend!"

WelshLadGareth on 606: "Well done Ireland for coming back, as BOD raised his game after the first half the whole team did. Good exciting game from a neutral perspective but you have to remember Australia were at an advantage going into this, having been fresh from international rugby against New Zealand then England."

FULL-TIME Ireland 20-20 Australia Ronan O'Gara's conversion proves to be the last kick of the match and Australia's hopes of a Grand Slam tour are over. Ireland, meanwhile, stay unbeaten in 2009 and the Croke Park crowd can go home happy.

79 mins: TRY & CONVERSION Ireland 20-20 Australia You cannot keep a good man down. Brian O'Driscoll has had a quiet game by his own stellar standards, but he bursts through on a preplanned move without a finger being laid on him to score under the posts. Ronan O'Gara kicks the conversion and Ireland are level. Fairytale finish.

77 mins: The ball is moved to the left and Ronan O'Gara pops it short to Tommy Bowe who goes through two tackles to cross the line. But the video referee cannot see definite proof that he got the ball down, so Ireland have a 5m scrum.


76 mins: Another penalty is kicked to the corner. Can they make this pressure tell?

75 mins: Another Ireland penalty - eminently kickable - is kicked to the corner. With five minutes left Ireland are going all out for the try.

73 mins: It's not been a 100th cap to remember so far for Brian O'Driscoll and his attempted pass to Keith Earls on the wing goes astray to allow Australia to hack forward. Donnacha O'Callaghan falls on the ball and ends up winning a penalty as Australia go off their feet. Ireland have got to make something of this chance, and kick to the corner.

70 mins: Some sleight of hand in the middle of the Irish midfield puts Tommy Bowe through a gap, but David Pocock produces a lovely tackle for Australia.

69 mins: Ireland get some turnover ball after Matt Giteau spills the ball in contact and a long, looping Jerry Flannery pass finds David Wallace. He subtly offloads but the crucial pass to Tommy Bowe goes forward.

68 mins: An old-school rolling maul - the first of the match, if I'm not mistaken - takes Ireland into the Australia's 22, but the attack off the back of it is not as slick.

65 mins: Rob Kearney makes a half-break but his attempted offload goes forward and the chance is gone. Ireland are noticeably trying to up the tempo and attack from a little bit deeper.

61 mins: TRY & CONVERSION Ireland 13-20 Australia Uh-oh. A flowing handling move puts Australia captain Rocky Elsom into a bit of space down the touchline. He goes shoulder-to-shoulder with the onrushing Rob Kearney, but has enough power to get the ball down just inside the corner flag. Matt Giteau strokes over a tip-top conversion to stretch the lead out to seven points.

59 mins: Cian Healy is enjoying himself in the loose, driving forward again. The recycled possession goes down the blindside, and some quick hands from Rob Kearney gives Keith Earls a little room to work in, but the door is soon closed by Australia's cover. But the move comes to nothing as Ronan O'Gara puts a kick out on the full.

56 mins: TRY & CONVERSION Ireland 13-13 Australia Well that uphill journey just got an awful lot flatter. The ball is swept out to Tommy Bowe who carries an Australian tackler over the line with him to score next to the posts. Ronan O'Gara kicks the conversion and Croke Park is rocking.

55 mins: Stirring surge forward from debutant Cian Healy gets the Croke Park crowd involved and Ireland set up camp in the Australia 22.

54 mins: PEN Ireland 6-13 Australia Another dominant Australia scrum sees John Hayes pinged for turning in and bringing it down. Matt Giteau slots the simple kick and Ireland have got an uphill struggle from here on in.

53 mins: Luke Fitzgerald is clearly in a lot of pain as he is helped off the field by Ireland's medical team. He is replaced by Munster's Keith Earls.


51 mins: Another scrum goes down and has to be reset. Thrilling stuff. But the second scrum sees Australia absolutely demolish the Irish pack. Fair play to Australia: a few years ago, their scrum was a laughing stock, but it's certainly not any more.

49 mins: Australia make a mess of Ireland's scrum, but they get penalised for not being "steady". Not sure I understand that call; it seems to me that the better, more powerful scrum just got penalised...?

47 mins: Another break from deep as Aussie full-back Adam Ashley-Cooper breaks an ineffectual tackle from Paul O'Connell before losing his footing as he attempts to link up with his support.

43 mins: A let-off for Ireland as Matt Giteau misses with a penalty effort after Ireland are penalised at the breakdown for not releasing the tackled player.

42 mins: A lovely bit of "heads-up" rugby from Luke Fitzgerald and Rob Kearney as the full-back sends a long pass to his winger before looping around to find the space. But Tomas O'Leary kicks out on the full. Poor from the scrum-half.

41 mins: Australia kick off, Ireland collect, recyle and Ronan O'Gara clears his lines to just short of halfway.

1557: Ireland are back out on the field at Croke Park, the flags are waved and then put down again. Here we go again.

1553: The Wycliff Palu yellow card divides opinion in the TV studio. Jeremy Guscott and Jonathan Davies think it was undeserved. Keith Wood, on the other hand, is incensed.

Uninventivename on 606: "Ireland are doing OK but considering this is supposedly a weak Australian side, the Aussies have had a yellow card and that Ireland were supposed to be loads better than England were last week, I've been pretty unimpressed."

BBC Sport's Jonathan Davies on BBC Two: "There's no continuity or momentum because the ref keeps blowing up. Neither side has got to grips with it."


HALF-TIME Ireland 6-10 Australia Two knock-ons in quick succession from Quade Cooper, but Ireland can't take too much advantage. The half-time whistle goes and it's anyone's game.

39 mins: Ireland are seemingly taking the Aussie line-out at will. But it's proving a mixed blessing as Jerry Flannery runs away from his support, gets isolated and concedes the penalty. Meanwhile, Wycliff Palu is back on with his side having conceded no points during his absence.

38 mins: Tomas O'Leary makes a sharp break around the fringe but ends up conceding a penalty for holding on to the ball on the floor. Ireland are not getting the support to the man quick enough.

35 mins: Ireland release Luke Fitzgerald down the flank again, but he is scragged by the Australia defence.

31 mins: Some quick thinking from Ronan O'Gara as he tries a cross-kick to Luke Fitzgerald, declining a likely three points with the kick at goal. It's inches away from being perfect, but the Aussie defence just manages to spoil the chance.


29 mins: YELLOW CARD Rob Kearney is absolutely flattened by Wycliff Palu in the tackle as he runs out of defence. Referee Jonathan Caplan rules that Palu did not use his arms in the tackle, but it's a debateable call. Either way, I don't think Kearney will try to run through Palu again.

27 mins: Lovely break from Matt Giteau - surely the in-form fly-half in world rugby union at the moment. He slices through to within three metres of the line, but the penalty goes Ireland's way.

25 mins: Awesome surge straight up the middle from Australia captain Rocky Elsom, straight from the kick-off. He busts through and makes a beeline for Ireland full-back Rob Kearney, but Brian O'Driscoll just gets a tap-tackle in on his former Leinster team-mate. Kearney is a relieved man, I would say.

23 mins: PEN Ireland 6-10 Australia Yet another Australia line-out goes Ireland's way. It's becoming a real trend in the game, but Ireland need to do more with the turnover ball. They fail to get enough numbers to the breakdown and Australia win a penalty almost in front of the sticks about 30m out which Matt Giteau kicks.

21 mins: PEN Ireland 6-7 Australia Ronan O'Gara takes full advantage after Australia are penalised for an offence at the line-out. Just one point in it.

19 mins: Jamie Heaslip grabs an Australia line-out, not the first time the Wallabies have lost their own throw, and Ireland spring into attack. The ball comes out to Luke Fitzgerald on the wing, who chips over the top and races on. Drew Mitchell covers for Australia and his team-mates do just enough to retain possession and clear their lines. Still encouraging signs for Ireland.

17 mins: Lovely footwork from Luke Fitzgerald as he chooses to run back a deep kick, beating four men in the process. I thought that running back from deep was against the rules these days?

15 mins: Matt Giteau misses with a tricky penalty chance from wide out after Ireland are correctly penalised for straying offside in defence.

14 mins: Australia are starting to build some decent momentum here, with the ball going through the hands with some aplomb. There's a few other international teams who could do with watching the video of this. Naming no names.


12 mins: Kicks for position don't get much better than that as Matt Giteau strokes one that finds touch inches inside the corner flag. But the chance goes as the Wallabies are penalised for not keeping the gaps in the line-out.

8 mins: Matt Giteau has a long-range drop-goal charged down, and Ireland quickly snaffle possession as Adam Ashley-Cooper rather dithers in collecting the loose ball. But they don't make the most of it, with Paddy Wallace running down a cul-de-sac on the blindside.

7 mins: The first scrum is all over the shop and the free-kick goes Australia's way. Anyone else getting more than a little bit bored of the constant resetting and offences at the scrum? As it goes, Australia opt for another scrum. How times change.

4 mins: PEN Ireland 3-7 Australia Instant response from Ireland as Australia are penalised for offside after a knock-on. Ronan O'Gara nails one from deep and Ireland get on the scoreboard.

2 mins: TRY & CONVERSION Ireland 0-7 Australia Whoops a daisy. Terrible start for Ireland and not what Brian O'Driscoll would have wanted with his first touch on his 100th Test cap. Ireland win the line-out just outside their 22, the quick ball is swept across the backline, but Ronan O'Gara's pass gives O'Driscoll man and ball. The centre knocks on under pressure from Digby Ioane and Drew Mitchell plucks the ball up and gratefully accepts the gift. Matt Giteau kicks the conversion.


1 min: Ronan O'Gara kicks off and we're under way. Aussie centre Quade Cooper - what a name, by the way - collects but hooks a rather ugby clearance just a few yards forward into touch.

1503: Anthems are over and Croke Parl is ready. Let's 'ave it.

Ingathewinga on 606: "Some of the football has been absolutely boring so far this autumn. England v Argentina was pathetic with neither team running the ball - England choosing not to do so as their backline is horrible.

The ABs were scrummaged of the park. South Africa were also diabolical against France - the have some awesome players but all they resorted to do were up and unders. Question - is international rugby losing it's appeal as entertainment?

That's a big shout from Ingathewinga, but it's hard to disagree too much. Let's hope this match restores a bit of faith in Test match rugby.

1452: Let's be honest, after Saturday's somewhat tedious affair at Twickenham and not much better in Cardiff on Friday, we could all do with a bit of entertainment... A quick reminder of the teams ought to get the juices flowing with ball players like Rob Kearney, Brian O'Driscoll, Matt Giteau and David Wallace on show: Ireland: Kearney; Bowe, B O'Driscoll (capt), P Wallace, Fitzgerald; O'Gara, O'Leary; Healy, Flannery, Hayes; O'Callaghan, O'Connell; Ferris, D Wallace, Heaslip.
Replacements: Cronin, Court, Cullen, Leamy, Reddan, Sexton, Earls.

Australia: Ashley-Cooper; Hynes, Ioane, Cooper, Mitchell; Giteau, Genia; Robinson, Moore, Alexander; Horwill, Chisholm; Elsom (capt), Pocock, Palu.
Replacements: Polota Nau, Dunning, Mumm, Smith, Burgess, Cross, O'Connor.

1449: Never let it be said that the BBC doesn't voice both sides of the argument. Here's Australia coach Robbie Deans: "Croke Park is a fantastic venue with great history and it's a privilege to have the chance to play here. We've got total respect for Ireland. They've got a lot of belief, and their players have won two Heineken Cups. They are a mature group of players and we're expecting them to be at their best."

1446: Some pre-match thoughts from Ireland's inscrutable coach Declan Kidney, after being reminded that his side are undefeated in 2009: "It's a new season, everyone starts unbeaten so let's see. It's always a daunting task when you play one of the Tri-Nations sides, but we're up for it."

1441: All things considered, Ireland don't have too bad a record against Australia: eight wins from 27 Tests. OK, not exactly brilliant, but it's a lot better than their record against the All Blacks. The last time the Aussies came to Dublin - in the last game at Lansdowne Road before it was redeveloped - they were sent home with a 21-6 defeat. But two years later, Australia turned the tables with a 18-12 win in Perth.

1438: For fans of stats and world rankings - if Ireland can win today, they will officially move up from fourth to third in the IRB's world rankings, leapfrogging the Wallabies. When you look back at the results of the Irish team of the 1990s - pre-BOD, if you will - that would be quite some achievement.

1435: It's a 100th Test cap for Brian O'Driscoll today - to date he has won 93 for Ireland and six for the Lions. Hats off to one of the modern-day greats. Here's his thoughts on reaching the milestone:

In-depth interview - Brian O'Driscoll

1430: Afternoon all, and welcome to Ireland v Australia - it's live on BBC Two or, if you can't quite be bothered to make it across to switch the TV on, then it's very handily just above these words. Modern technology, eh? Anyway, if you fancy getting involved, get stuck in on 606 or send a text on 81111. It'll be great.



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see also
Ireland v Australia photos
15 Nov 09 |  Rugby Union
Sunday Sportsound
23 Sep 09 |  Gaelic Games
O'Callaghan ready for Aussie test
14 Nov 09 |  Irish
Ireland v Australia (Sun)
13 Nov 09 |  Irish
Skipper O'Driscoll wins top award
11 Nov 09 |  Irish
England 9-18 Australia
07 Nov 09 |  Rugby Union
O'Driscoll wins top player award
27 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
O'Driscoll revels in Slam triumph
21 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Can Ireland still trust in BOD?
05 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
O'Driscoll's rapid rise
05 Nov 02 |  International


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