Match Centre: Ireland 13-10 Australia

Ireland finished the autumn internationals unbeaten
Ireland finished the autumn internationals unbeaten

Ireland 13-10 Australia, Aviva Stadium

Ross Byrne scored a 77th minute penalty kick as Ireland finished the autumn internationals unbeaten after defeating Australia 13-10 at Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

It also marked the end of a successful year for Ireland as they finished the Six Nations tournament second followed by a maiden away series in New Zealand and now have wins over South Africa, Fiji and Australia in the autumn internationals.

This was also a record-equalling 12th successive home victory for Ireland but they got off to a worst possible news as skipper Johnny Sexton was ruled out after picking a knock in the warm up. Jack Crowley was handed the fly-half role with Byrne providing cover from the bench in Sexton's absence.

Australia thought they scored the opening try in the fourth minute but scrum-half Nic White's try was ruled out due to Dave Porecki’s neck roll on Josh van der Flier. Crowley kicked a penalty goal which were the only points in the opening half but Bernard Foley was struggling to find his groove.

Just at the stroke of half-time, Australia replacement hooker Folau Fainga'a was sin-binned for another neck roll as the teams went into the break with a 3-0 scoreline.

Both the teams were desperate for breakthroughs in the second half as Jamison Gibson-Park touched down but was denied after Mack Hansen had gone into touch before an offload. Foley made amends with his indifferent kicking form in the first half with a 56th minute penalty goal to level the scores.

Ireland stretched their lead further as Bundee Aki dived from close range in the 66th minute and Crowley improved but his effort was cancelled out with Jordan Petitia dived on the right in the 71st minute and Foley improved to level the scores 10-10. Just when a draw was on the cards, Byrne landed a difficult penalty in the 77th minute to steer Ireland to a three-point victory.

Team line up:

Ireland: Keenan; Hansen, Ringrose, McCloskey, O'Brien; Sexton, Gibson-Park; Porter, Sheehan, Furlong; Beirne, Ryan; O'Mahony, Van der Flier, Doris.

Reserves: Herring, Healy, Bealham, McCarthy, Conan, Casey, Crowley, Aki.

Australia: Kellaway; Nawaqanitawase, Ikitau, Paisami, Wright; Foley, White; Slipper, Porecki, Alaalatoa; Frost, Neville; Holloway, Hooper, Valetini.

Reserves: Fainga'a, Robertson, Tupou, Skelton, Samu, Gordon, Lolesio, Petaia.


Ireland Fixtures