Ireland looking for reaction against Wallabies

Peter O'Mahony knows the challenge Ireland have against Australia

Ireland captain Peter O’Mahony admits his side will have to be at their very best on Saturday to level their Test series with Australia.

The Grand Slam winners hadn’t lost since March 2017, but Joe Schmidt’s men tasted defeated for the first time in 12 matches after losing 18-9 against the Wallabies last weekend.

After defeat in Brisbane, Ireland now have the chance to immediately respond in Melbourne before the final Test in Sydney on June 23rd and O’ Mahony, who is skippering the side after the injury to Rory Best, believes Ireland must be firing on all cylinders at AAMI Park.

"Fellas are frustrated and upset, it was a record we wanted to hold on to," he said.

"But we're a team that understands that when something like that happens we have got to improve.

"It was up to us to have a good look at the game and see what areas we needed to improve on.

"We understand that we were beaten by a better team last Saturday and we're going to have to put in a performance that has been better than any we've put in over the last 18 months to beat this Australia team.

"The quality they have, their game plan, they're one of the best teams in the world and we have to up our game from the standards we set in in the Six Nations, which we certainly didn't do last week."

Schmidt has made a total of eight changes to the starting line-up for the second Test with Johnny Sexton, who was among the replacements last weekend, returning to the XV and will partner Conor Murray leaving Bundee Aki out of the matchday 23.

Tadhg Beirne is set to make his debut from the bench while Devin Toner replaces Iain Henderson in the second row.

Keith Earls, who was in doubt following a head injury in the opening game has completed return to play protocol but will move from right to left wing to allow the inclusion of Andrew Conway.

Meanwhile, Australia have retained the same 23-man squad and O’Mahony feels Australia will take their performance level up a notch this weekend.

He added: "Absolutely, they're one of the best teams in the world and every time you go out you want to better your last performance," he said.

"They've had another week now to gel together, to build on it and we've no doubt that they'll be better than last week which is something that we have to prepare for and deal with."

Australia: I Folau; D Haylett-Petty, S Kerevi, K Beale, M Koroibete; B Foley, W Genia; C Timu, M Hooper (capt), D Pocock; A Coleman, I Rodda; S Kepu, B Paenga-Amosa, S Sio.

Replacements: T Latu, T Robertson, T Tupou, R Simmons, L Tui, P Samu, N Phipps, R Hodge.

Ireland: R Kearney; A Conway, G Ringrose, R Henshaw, K Earls; J Sexton, C Murray; C Healy, N Scannell, T Furlong; D Toner, James Ryan; P O'Mahony, D Leavy, CJ Stander.

Replacements: R Herring, J McGrath, A Porter, T Beirne, J Murphy, J Cooney, J Carbery, J Larmour.






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