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Tuesday, 5 November, 2002, 13:01 GMT
Salute victorious Ireland
Brian O'Driscoll will lead Ireland against Australia
Ireland defeat Australia 18-9 at Lansdowne Road, their first win over Australia since 1979.

Can Ireland become a world force again?


This debate is now closed.


Fly-half Ronan O'Gara slotted six penalties in atrocious conditions in Dublin to seal Ireland's first home win over the Wallabies for 34 years.

Victor Costello had a colossal match and was named man-of-the-match even though he was substituted in the final quarter.

Australia could only muster three penalties from the boot of Matthew Burke.

Can Ireland be a factor at next year's World Cup?


If anyone witnessed the 'celebrations' we had in Dublin on Saturday you'd know how much that meant to us. On a one-off we can beat any of the big four...and England as well!

But the players and fans know all too well that we must put in a consistent series of results to claim an undisputed place at the top table.
Monty, Ireland


Closer international competition has got to be a good thing
Steve, Aussie in England

Full marks to the Irish and the rest of the northern hemisphere sides. We all like to see our home sides win, but let's face it, we've been getting lazy and perhaps worse, arrogant.

For the benefit of rugby, a closer international competition has got to be a good thing. Let's hope a RWC held in the northern hemisphere will be a chance for the Europeans to keep on narrowing the gap!
Steve, Aussie in England

And here we are in Australia praying for rain and Yer Man drops it on Lansdowne Road. Well done the boys from the Oul Sod. Now stop the celebrating until after the WC next year. England had better be at their best, in spite of this well-deserved loss.
Drew, Australia

I can assure Toby Telford that Ireland will be ready for England when they come to Ireland next year, England were lucky to hang on a against the All Black second XV.
Paddy Savage, Limerick, Ireland

Grande Irlande! A great victory for everyone in the northern hemisphere - for everyone in the world of rugby. We all know that the inbalance between the northern and southern hemispheres has not been good for the sport.

We need more results like this, for the good of the game. Forza Scozia per la prossima partita contra Sud Africa! Poi forza Italia contra Australia tra due settimane!
Alessandro Rennie, Italy


A good result for Ireland, but they will not become a world force
Mary Smith, Ireland

It was so nice to come into work here after the weekend...particularly with England's cricketers getting stuffed. For 60 minutes, Ireland held their own with the Aussies and had as many try opportunities.

However, we need to stop giving the ball away in the final quarter if we are to win games against the bigger countries in the World Cup. In good conditions I think Australia will be a harder team to beat, but at least we could consider ourselves dark horses for the World Cup and we like nothing more than not being a favourite!!
Trevor McMullan, Australia

A good result for Ireland, but they will not become a world force. They are not consistent in their winning. In my view this is a lucky one-off against an Aussie team who were missing some of their key players.
Mary Smith, Ireland

Despite my natural disappointment, can't help feel that Ireland deserved this win. Played amazing defence and didn't blink, despite huge pressure in the dying minutes. Good for the game and, I hope, good for Irish rugby!
Derek, Australia

Up north we need to stop constantly feeling inferior to the southern hemisphere. Ireland are a world force, as are England and France. In Wales we need to do a lot of catching up, but it's good to see these results all coming on the same day. The World Cup should be quite an occasion.
Munch, Wales


Australia's skill levels were poor, our tactics were boring and there was no adventure shown
Mark, Australia

Alan, from Ireland, let me just name the players on Australia's injury list: Owen Finnegan, David Giffin, Matt Rogers, Chris Latham, Ben Tune, Jeremy Paul, David Lyons, but to name a few - and don't forget that Joe Roff, who has been off in France leading Barritz to their first title, did not qualify due to the season in the north.

Now, tell me that you have this many players of this calibre out of the Ireland team and I will listen. It would be like Ireland missing three O'Driscolls, and three Keith Woods.

This is by no means an excuse though, your defence was outstanding, but neither did the Irish look like threatening our line - something that is a must for World Cup contenders. Tries win cups, not kicking and counter-kicking.

In summary, Australia's skill levels were poor, our tactics were boring and there was no adventure shown - good on the Irish I say, but it is a mere blip, on Australia's way to RWC glory in 2003. The Wallabies are still the team to beat - and at home too! Hmmm, interesting.
Mark, Australia

The commitment shown by the Irish was extremely good to see, but this has got to be one of the worst Wallaby teams I have seen in the past twenty years. There appears to be very little invention amongst the back line and the forward appear to be cumbersome and even a little unfit.

Saying that, the northern hemisphere teams will struggle in next year's World Cup and it will be one of the southern hemispheres 'big three' who will win it yet again.
Gavin Upex, England


The most pleasing thing was to see Ronan O'Gara's kicking back to its best
Shane, Ireland

It's about building from here in a consistent way with a squad and a management team whose ambitions are more than the odd triumph over England every few years - a triple crown in the next three years should be the aim, then a Six Nations.
P Collins, UK

After some slightly unconvincing World Cup qualifying results and running the All Blacks close in New Zealand this is an excellent result, great performances all over the pitch, stringer and captain O'Driscoll as outstanding as ever.

The most pleasing thing was to see Ronan O'Gara's kicking back to its best under the posts reaching the level of his tactical kicking for quite a while, a young man with a great future. All this and Keith Wood to return, roll on the Six-Nations and World Cup!!
Shane, Ireland

What can I say? An inspired performance, forcing errors from the mighty Aussies at every turn. Hopefully this is not a one off, but recent history unfortunately suggests that it is. Who cares! Savour the moment, we deserved it! By the way, Girvan Dempsey was my Man of the Match. Great performance all round.
Iain McKinney, Northern Ireland

Nice one Ireland. The team has been improving steadily over the past few years and now you have a southern hemisphere scalp to show for it.
Alex, England

Let's hope than this is not a once-off victory but something that we can build on for the World Cup.
Joanna, Ireland


It was an excellent result with the trademark passion both on the field and in the terraces
Mike Kearney, Clarenbridgeman in Somerset

We must keep our feet on the ground. It was a home game, where we've beaten both England and France only to be hammered away. There's a lot still to be done before the World Cup in Australia.
Robert Crawford, Ireland

Ireland, like most northern hemisphere teams, can't win away from home. Come the World Cup, the Wallabies and the All Blacks will hammer Ireland.
Dan M, Australia

This has been coming for a while and shows that we are now reaping the benefits of professionalism. It was an excellent result with the trademark passion both on the field and in the terraces. Roll on the Six-Nations!
Mike Kearney, Clarenbridgeman in Somerset

Adrian from Australia, you need to check both team sheets, Ireland were under-strength yesterday as well. As Eddie O'Sullivan rightly pointed out Ireland would have preferred dry conditions to run at the Australians because we have appreciably better backs and we have the raw materials to play an expansive style of rugby.

With, hopefully, consolidating wins over Fiji and Argentina, Ireland can build for what could be a successful World Cup. Ireland have nothing to fear from a full-strength or an under-strength Australia. What is the more heartening thing for me above the win against Australia is the resurgence of Victor Costelloe. He is an immense talent and Ireland need to accommodate him. His battle with Owen Finnegan was worth the admission price alone.
Alan, Ireland


We shall see how good Ireland are, however, when England's sweet chariot roles into Dublin next year!
Toby Telford, England
I was at the Ireland/Australia game and it was the best team performance by Ireland for years. Given France's and England's result I hope we are seeing the beginning of the end of the southern hemisphere's dominantion of the game! Roll on WC 2003!
Aodhan O'Faolain, Ireland

All credit to Ireland, they showed all their traditional fighting spirit and passion. I think the Australians may have had one eye on the big one against England at HQ next week but that should not detract from the Irish performance.

We shall see how good Ireland are, however, when England's sweet chariot roles into Dublin next year!
Toby Telford, England

I really take my hat off to the Irish, I watched the game and they played very well. It would have been interesting to see how they would have played against a full strength Australian team. Unfortunately, now including an injury to Owen Finegan, Australia still has six or seven players unable to play because of injuries.

If Australia could somehow string together their "first choice side" against England next week and win, then I cannot see any other team coming close to beating Australia. I am far from being biased, that is just the way I see it.
Adrian, Australia

Well done, Ireland. An inspired victory over a quality Australian side. Combined with the English victory over the All Blacks, the northern hemisphere are sending notice ahead of the World Cup. Cheers lads.
Conor O'Neill, USA


It will be a great boost for rugby in the northern hemisphere
Colm Doyle, Australia

As a die-hard Wallabies supporter: good on you Ireland, you just made the rugby world a better place. Bring on the World Cup.
Brad Gillieatt, Australia

Hopefully this will be a turning point for Irish fortunes against the southern hemisphere. For too long the Irish challenge has been dismissed by the British media. Perhaps this will change now.

The problem for Ireland is that we still have to perform away from home but otherwise today was a famous day in Irish rugby history and the first time in my lifetime that Ireland have beaten Australia. Brilliant!
Gavin, Northern Ireland

Only an English site could ask such a pathetic and demeaning question. I seem to recall that the "great" England have struggled once or twice in recent history to beat a team which you do not obviously class as a "world power".
Willie Sutherland, Ireland

For an exile in Melbourne it is great to see the homeland win. It will be a great boost for rugby in the northern hemisphere.
Colm Doyle, Australia

Go on Ireland, enjoy this win while it lasts because the Wallabies will be better when the RWC comes around next year.
Nick Leong, Malaysia

Australia made clumsy mistakes in the wet and cold conditions, and simply did not get enough possession or territory to win
Malcolm, Australia


Inspired choice by Eddie to pick Costello
Healux, USA

At last the Irish can play a full 80 minutes. The fitness and concentration levels were excellent. No more conceding penalties to allow the opposition back into the match. Roll on the World Cup.
Maurice Johnson, England

As a New Zealander I support the All Blacks and any other team playing Australia. Well done Ireland, you played a good game and deserved the win.
Bruce, New Zealand

Well done Ireland. Southern who?
Kye, England

Well done Ireland. You outplayed us and made us look quite flat.
Ralph Sirmulis, Australia

Absolutey brilliant performance from all of the Irish team!
Richard Neary, Ireland

Waltzing O'Driscoll, Waltzing O'Driscoll, Who'll go a-waltzing O'Driscoll with me?
Rohan Durbridge-Freeman, England

There are many exciting players coming through. There is a new enthusiasm for the sport by the young in the country. Inspired choice by Eddie to pick Costello.
Healux, USA

Given the number of good young players at its disposal, I have no doubt Ireland will indeed become a world power once more.
Matthew Lee, USA


Ireland v Argentina

Ireland v Fiji

Ireland v Australia

Brian O'Driscoll

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