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Ireland's ambush of Australia a result for the ages

Alastair Eykyn | 19:59 UK time, Saturday, 17 September 2011

Well that was something wasn't it? Ireland were sensational. Australia were ambushed. Maybe there was something in the air for Saturday's 15-6 upset by the Irish at Eden Park. It certainly felt that way.

To be in Auckland before the match was to witness a sea of green-shirted supporters intent on creating their very own southern hemisphere version of Dublin. There was rain around. The Wallabies had lost their key openside flanker David Pocock to a back injury in the morning and by kick-off they had lost their hooker Stephen Moore to sickness. The stars seemed to be aligning, and the pattern they depicted was that of a shamrock.

 Irish players celebrate their win

Was this Ireland's greatest ever Test victory? As a one-off match, this win could top the lot. Photo: Getty

From the outset there was a fever about the Irishmen. They tore into their vaunted opponents like men possessed. They shut down the space Will Genia and Quade Cooper so love to exploit. The front row got to work on the one area the Australians still haven't fixed.

Paul O'Connell remembered he was the British and Irish Lions captain. Sean O'Brien buzzed everywhere. Steven Ferris was mountainous, at one point picking up Genia and manhandling him 10 metres in a backwards direction. As a statement of Irish intent, it said everything you needed to know.

The jitters surrounded Jonny's Sexton's boot. Despite his first half drop goal, his return of two successful penalties from five attempts made the Irish fans edgy. When he hit the left hand upright in the 50th minute with the last of his efforts, we had to wonder if that was to be his James Hook moment'.

Would it end up defining the night? It nearly ended up in a try for Brian O'Driscoll, but the bounce was too high, and the Wallabies averted the danger.

All the time, Cian Healy, Rory Best and Mike Ross were turning the screw at the scrums. Australia have tried to find a pair of half-decent props for several years and their Tri Nations victory suggested they had managed it. However Ben Alexander had a torrid time and Sekope Kepu won't have enjoyed himself much either.

With a targeted attack, Kidney had gone after the Australians' perceived weakness, and the result was penalties. They came at a critical stage too - with 18 minutes, and then nine minutes left to play, Ronan O'Gara calmly notched up the six points they needed to ensure their opposition had to score twice to win.

As the clock ticked away, the Irish line was under siege. Genia burst forwards, but was met with an Irish wall. The ball was recycled repeatedly without result. With a last throw of the dice, Cooper tried a pass behind his back to release either Beale or Mitchell into the corner for the try but Tommy Bowe read it, intercepted it, and set off for the 95 metre race to the Aussie try line. Only the express pace, and textbook cover tackling of James O'Connor prevented a try to crown the Irish win but the damage was already done.

Not only had Ireland pulled off a sensational victory against the odds, they had denied the Wallabies a bonus point and bust open the World Cup draw.

 Ireland's front row

 If Ireland top Pool C, as they should now with Russia and Italy to come, they will most likely avoid defending champions South Africa in the quarter-finals. Providing South Africa win their own Pool -and the Boks seemed to be back to something approaching their best in destroying Fiji - then the two  southern hemisphere teams will meet in the last eight.

So the Irish may be able to look forward to a quarter-final against either Wales or Samoa, and then potentially a semi-final against England or France. However there is much rugby to be played and this match alone shows the foolishness of trying to second-guess results, but it's fun to do.

It now means we have the possibility - even probability - that the southern hemisphere superpowers will be clustered in the same section of the knockout stages.

Like I said, there's a long way to travel yet, but it's fun to speculate.

After the game we learned from captain Brian O'Driscoll of the 'inspirational words' spoken by Paul O'Connell on the eve of battle. Stephen Ferris said the big lock forward also had tears in his eyes as he fired his pack shortly before kick-off. Jerry Flannery had handed out the team shirts in an emotional display on Friday.

The crushing disappointment at the hooker's impending departure from New Zealand with a calf injury had struck a chord with his team-mates. Rousing words from non-playing squad men Geordan Murphy and Shane Jennings stirred the blood still further.

So was this Ireland's greatest ever Test victory? As a whole, the Grand Slams of 1948 and 2009 are high on the list, of course. But there has to be an argument to say that as a one-off match, this win tops the lot; a victory over the Tri Nations champions on southern hemisphere soil, in a World Cup.

Let's not forget the painful defeats by Australia by a single point in the tournaments of 1991 and 2003. Difficult as it was so soon after the final whistle, I asked Declan Kidney if he might try to put this result into some kind of historical context:

"I think when you're in the middle of something, it's probably not for you to say. It's a privilege to be working with the lads. I'm sure for the lads it's a privilege to be here," he said.

"Historians will look back and see that we've had a few close calls in the past against Australia, but I think it's maybe for others to decide that. But it's a good reason for a party."

Ever the master of understatement, Kidney's words were turned to deeds across Auckland. If only for one day, the city belonged to Ireland and their euphoric supporters.

A very special day.


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  • Comment number 1.

    A great result and an example to Wales as to what we should have done to SA. Well done guys, see you in the QFs :-)

  • Comment number 2.

    quality game from the irish! showed australia for all their success in the tri nations still need to learn to deal with a forward oriented attack and still need to learn to scrummage!

  • Comment number 3.

    Well done Ireland. This upset makes a North-South rugby world cup final now look a near certainty -

  • Comment number 4.

    Great test victory, yes! Best performance at a RWC, yes. However, it is merely a stepping stone & we need to lay plenty more before anything is achieved but lets hope this victory instils a winning belief into the players & supports alike.

    For far too long our country has bore a pessimistic approach to winning tournaments & performing on the biggest stage. This team has got the talent, I believe, they just need to back themselves & have performances like today consistently.

    Well done Ireland massive effort by all, enjoy tonight but roll the sleeves up 2moro & get ready for the Russians.

  • Comment number 5.

    Best and most exciting game so far; this England fan says 'well played Ireland, brilliant stuff'. And yet there was no try scored and the play was mostly tight with the forwards; I think true rugby fans can appreciated a great forward battle. A few points on that 1) replace Green shirts with White and the likes of Ben Dirs and other part time rugby commentators would not reported it as 'sensational' and have once again slated England for a boring forward focused game, not throwing the ball all around the park and being lame for being unable to breakdown the Oz defence to get a try 2) I think the NH/English ref (whom had a good game I think) allowed the forward rumble, like not blowing his whistle within one nano second of not releasing and knew how to ref a scrum 3) I think this game has blown the whole competition open, the NH can outplay the SH if they stamp their authority on the forward game & scrum and don't give SH backs the space, get in their face, and I think the French can have some belief when they take on NZ and the rest of the NH can wear a big smile after this (except I think, being presumptuous as an England fan, I'd rather have had Oz in the semi's than Ireland now!!). Well played Ireland, it's just what the RWC needed!!

  • Comment number 6.

    Unconfirmed reports doing the rounds that Ferris has been cited for dwarf throwing!

  • Comment number 7.

    Great performance, and amazing commitment by the pack. It is interesting to speculate on the knockout stages now, as Australia were often mentioned as favourites for the cup, but would now have to beat SA and New Zealand just to make the final. Will SA be tempted to field a weaker team for their last game if they're sure to finish 1st or 2nd in their group?

    Anyway, must be quite a party in Auckland tonight. Wish I was there.

    I've seen a number of comments since the match about this being 'the way to play vs the SH'. I disagree, this is the way to play vs Aus. The SH are not identical in their strengths and weaknesses, just as the NH are not homogenous in style. SA, Aus and NZ have very different strengths and weaknesses. If you try to 'get in the face' of SA you would be playing to their strengths and they would love it, but this is the perfect tactic for Australia and the likes of Cooper et al.

  • Comment number 8.

    Brilliant, brilliant stuff. Well done Ireland! I didn't see where they would be able to dominate, they had all the personnel and proven winners at the highest levels, but weren't performing. And today it all came together. A shame you didn't also get the try at the end, that would have been perfect.

    This result makes me even more disappointed for Wales not beating South Africa. They really, really should have...

    To be talking about 2 Home Nations wins over 2 Tri Nation World Cup Winners would be unbelievable.

    And to make matters worse, we could well be dealing with a Wales vs Ireland quarterfinal which is even more disappointing. Both teams deserve to be making a real run in this competition.

    As an aside, I'm disappointed more people aren't making a bigger deal of the RWC, the matches seem to be on too early for most people to care. I am loving this...

  • Comment number 9.

    Great game, brilliant result. One minor pedantic point - why didn't Bowe shift the ball to his right arm and give himself a chance of handing off O'Connor?

  • Comment number 10.

    Very close to the greatest test victory, but The win against the Boks in the old Lansdowne road a number of years ago pushes it close....

  • Comment number 11.

    A great forward battle indeed, Steve S, and the backs did their bit manfully too. While there were refereeing quirks, they certainly weren't to either team's advantage (Never mind the howls from the Australian commentary box!) and Ireland played with more than the Irish cheering them on.

    Hard to contain the exuberance, indeed. Well done, Ireland: an object lesson on determination, discipline and brains! The analysis and tactics were brilliant, from playing the game well away from the Irish try-line, to dealing with Alexander's tendency to bear down in the scrummage and exploiting Pocock's absence, to taking advantage of a jink-and-jive merchant at fly-half to starve the Australian outside backs.

    The only chink in the Irish make-up was, I thought, a somewhat slow service from scrum-half, but if that can be corrected, and if Ireland can maintain the same level of intensity and accuracy both on the pitch and in planning and analysis, this could be THE World Cup to remember.

    Shame, though: maybe not for Scotland: Argentina seem to be drinking from the same well as the Irish.

  • Comment number 12.

    @5 I believe the ref was Bryce Lawrence who is a Kiwi. He certainly had a better game than the England-Argentina match. Maybe he's getting used to how the NH play?!

  • Comment number 13.

    Born in Ireland raised in New Zealand was the best game i have ever seen in my life and ive seen a few living here all aspects Ireland ran the Aussies to the ground huge support from the kiwis seems every one wants to be Irish here now so much for Australia being the tough boys Wales is another force to be respected they are playing a good hard game well done boys a great game and a well deserved win

  • Comment number 14.

    @#9 The game was over when Bowe took the ball to the other end of the pitch since Australia needed two scores with about 90 seconds remaining. The crucial thing for Bowe was to slow things down taking it to touch and not risk possession turning over holding on with one hand or kicking ahead.

    The try was really immaterial since the game was won unless O'Connor that ball off him ASAP.

  • Comment number 15.

    I still don't think Ireland were perfect. There were definitely at least 2 clear try-scoring chances that went begging due to handling errors, so I wouldn't say they're completely there yet, but definitely on the road.

    Then again, I'm just going to stop predicting. What was it last week? "Woeful Ireland win poorly against USA?"

    There's still everything to play for in every group.

    Perhaps it would be better for New Zealand to come second and have England, followed by Ireland/Wales? Maybe they'll suspiciously lose to France?

  • Comment number 16.

    Ah the satisfaction of seeing a team realize some of it's potential. This team has great players from Healy, ferris, o brien to bowe, Trimble and odriscoll. Some problems to sort out the half backs but what a forward display. Sexton will be world class, his early decision to run a penalty shows his vision to see what's in front of him. It's a setback the kicking but he can recover and quickly. I bet the spread this morning, thought it was a value bet, but I should have believed more. Forget about august this team is yet to fire on all cylinders, although it's hard to see how the forward line can perform better. Australia had chances. But the stars are aligned as you said with a shade of green. The northern lights were behind us today, who says you can't see them in the southern hemisphere. The team has finally shown some of it's potentially, and there is more to come. Let's hope we get to see it.... Well done Ireland, another coming of age for this team, let's see it through.....

  • Comment number 17.

    "so called tough guys of Australia"

    Please.. you can´t rule out a team like Australia who have such history in this WC! History in beating SA, beating NZ in WC´s and taking the title twice.
    However, you could just see this coming couldn´t you!!? I must admit I thought this was not going to happen, but it did and fair play to Ireland and the NH.

    This may just be the kick up the backside the Wallabies need and I feel sorry for Russia and the USA for what will be a huge backlash.

  • Comment number 18.

    The Aussie set piece must be a worry, their scrum and forward physicality in general was poor. I know the Irish forwards are good but there are better and if the Aussies hold out any hope for the cup, they must find something from somewhere. Young, flying and hitch-kicking backs are not enough these days.

  • Comment number 19.

    Great win by Ireland. Loved every minute of it!

    I think we are selling them a bit short with headlines such as " Ambush" and "upset win" it suggests Ireland aren't ranked too highly.
    Ireland are as good as any international side, north or south, any time day or night.

    They clearly know how to out think their opposition ( just loved the way they kept Aus on their feet) and exposed yet again the paper bag that the Australians call a scrum.

    No tries, a penalty within the first 90secs and a squillion thereafter (had it been England playing there would have been warnings and yellow the penalty counts) but hard tough front on rugby and great to watch.

    Well done Ireland! You didn't ambush or upset anybody, just did what was expected of a world class side.............front up to a WC tournament and compete on level terms with whoever the opposition might be............and win!


  • Comment number 20.

    Australia well beaten up front - but where was the round ball?

  • Comment number 21.


    I can't see New Zealand "suspiciously" losing to France, simply because the French will be more than happy to lose as well!

    This result has blown the world cup wide open, and every single northern hemisphere team will be looking at their route to the final. The Saffers and the Aussies will be kicking themselves, they have some very difficult games ahead of them.

  • Comment number 22.

    Proud of our RWC squad.What is it about us Irish that we play best when the world say we dont have a chance-we will have to change that and play from now on as if we can win this world cup

  • Comment number 23.

    ireland now have a great chance of getting to the final. they should beat wales and england will be terrified after last game of 6 nations. Then just the small matter of NZ or boks. hopefully the boks as i think mentally we will think we can beat them. Too many nearly days against the kiwis in the past so hope they get stuffed by SA

  • Comment number 24.


    Could not agree more. Brilliant display by the Irish, and a well ground out win. Exactly what needs to be done against the NH teams. I know England were expected to win and Ireland weren't, but why do England get stick for grinding out a win and Ireland get praised? It baffles me. Don't get me wrong though, I mean nothing against Ireland, just against the stupid English media (especially a certain Mr Dirs).

    Having said that, fantastic display by Ireland, would love to see Wales beat Samoa now and have 4 NH teams in the same half of the draw, so 1 definitely going into the final while the SH teams tear scraps off of each other to get there to face them.

  • Comment number 25.

    Just looked at some odds for the tournament: England 11/1, Ireland 20/1, Wales 33/1 (all to win). Can't help feeling they're looking more at past performance in World Cups than current form - surely England can't be that much more likely to win than Ireland or Wales!

  • Comment number 26.

    Ireland have an interesting back row, essentially playing two No. 6s, Ferris and O'Brien, with Heaslip. This gives them three genuine ball carriers and powerful tacklers. With a tight five platform they smashed Australia, tackling them to a standstill and frquently holding up their ball carriers to force a turnover.

    There is no doubt that Pocock's absence was massive. Without him, Australia were anonymous in the loose, and never got any quick ball.

    Congratulations to Ireland.

  • Comment number 27.

    rousing display by the boys! and what a pack. Proud to be green today. Was singing this track loud and proud as the match unfolded. If you want to download it just go to

  • Comment number 28.

    As an avid Irish Rugby fan I believe we still need to keep our feet firmly on the ground. Ireland are a nation famous for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Italy are no pushovers and will certainly give us a game in the final round of pool matches.

    The performance's from 1-8 today were outstanding.. I don't think one of them stood out more than any other because it was a collective effort. The Backline was starved today.. with the up the jumper tactics meaning very little quick ball going out to them. Obviously Kidney knew we didn't need to play high-risk stuff to win, and the pragmatic approach was the correct one.

    The referee killed the game as a spectacle and I'm not sure about some of his interpretations in regards to the maul, and the scrums.. but the poor refereeing (he was in fact equally bad to both sides) did benefit the Irish game plan as it stopped the Aussies from finding any sense of rhythm.

    The Aussies squandered some glorious opportunities to score tries, and I'm pretty sure 15 points will not be enough to win against France, S.A or N.Z if we make it that far.

    IMO a great result, great defensive display but overall a poor match with the Aussies not playing anywhere near their best. Australia had a wake up call, and Ireland have something to build on... nothing more... nothing less.

  • Comment number 29.

    Well done to Ireland, they exposed the Australians achilles heel by keeping the pressure on, something that this Australian team does not cope well with. The youth of the Australians works well if they have their confidence but put under pressure they fold.

    Deans favours youth over experience and pays the price. This has happened before and it would appear that Deans struggles with keeping older players in line so instead opts for new players. Examples of this in the past are Andrew Mehterns for the Crusaders, Christian Cullen for the All Blacks and Matt Giteau for Australia all older players that Deans has not been able to get the best out of so consequently have moved on.

  • Comment number 30.

    Wallabies were their own worst enemy. Team selections, funny ref decisions

    They need to get out of the private schools and get a decent front row

  • Comment number 31.

    Well I wrote Ireland off bigtime... and i'm very happy to have been proven wrong. With Wales also winning, could this be another NH winner in the SH?
    NZ will take some beating in my opinion, but how good has this been for the world rugby.

  • Comment number 32.

    What no bile porridge-times, no outrageous hyperbole! I guess with your predictions now at a lowly 0 from 4 this w/e, the penny dropped and you finally realised that your not a genius afterall!

  • Comment number 33.

    In the Sydney Morning Herald today: "The Wallabies were yet again shown to be second-rate by one of the also-rans of world rugby." - somewhat unfair comment from the wounded Aussies about the Irish? This disciplined, highly motivated and passionate Irish Team continues to prove that over the last 3-4 seasons their brand of rugby is a strong force from the Nthn Hemisphere.

  • Comment number 34.

    dont want to be a downer on the result,but it is the group stages that mean absolutly nothing ,australia will qualify,they have the quality to beat anyone.ireland haven't.if hey met the lets say 1/4 or the semi final who would bet on (100% aussie win)

  • Comment number 35.

    Australia played poorly, Ireland threw everything at them and I think Italy will give Ireland a scare. Australia have a great backline and had a bad game. They have beaten the Boks and the AllBlacks (under pressure, not too many teams can do that) Australia on their day can beat anybody. I think this is a positive for a cocky team. Brings them down to earth. Good on Ireland, but if they played next week Australia would wipe the floor with them. Don't right off the Aussies yet they are still very much in the hunt. The Boks would not have liked that result. Australia has depth and they had a bad game..big deal. Lets see how Ireland handle Italy..I see an upset

  • Comment number 36.

    Brilliant result, as an England fan I always love to see the Aussies beaten but lets not get carried away. Ireland played out of their skins and the Aussies were poor but the result was based on dominance at the scrum. Congratulating a team on dominating the Aussie scrum is like congratulating someone for remembering to keep breathing all day. Italy will be tough but I think Ireland will win the group now so bring on the quarters against England.

  • Comment number 37.

    Banditzz! If Ireland played Australia again next week, "Australia would wipe the floor with them"! More than a little on the arrogant side, I think you will agree.

    It would appear that even after the defeat you still under-estimate Ireland. I guess you will never learn. Ireland haven't won the RWC, far from it. We will progress through the tournament , one game at a time and giving each opponent the respect they deserve. I fear you will never openly respect Ireland nor will you ever be gracious in defeat!

  • Comment number 38.

    Number 33. Typcial aussie arrogance, annoying when they are winning, luidcrously hollow when they aren't.

    I have got to say (as an Englishman!) that is one of Ireland's all time great results but, in terms of performance, I have seen them play much better. But they put a hard shift in, especially in the forwards, and destroyed them in the screum (I thought this had been fixed since we did the same to them in 2007?)

    As for Australia, some amazing talent in the backs as always, but they do not look like eventual winners. What holds them in good stead is that they (and the Springboks) aren't scared of playing the All Blacks. I don't know whether it is a clash of styles or a mentality issue but you would back either of them to beat NZ over and above Ireland or Wales who have pretty much bested them so far WC2011.

  • Comment number 39.

    Superb performance by the Irish forwards, made easier by the absence of Pocock.

    Good luck to Ireland, the likes of O'Driscoll, O'Gara and O'Connell richly deserve an outstanding swan song to their careers.

  • Comment number 40.

    Fair play to the Irish - they were better on the day. They came to play the spoiling, slowing down kind of game and they did it very well, maybe perfectly. As a Wallaby fan, I can see very little positive from the game, though the scrums were OK but not great, (yes watch again if you doubt it - Lawrence is clueless), some of the backs did OK and despite the "carrying" of Genia he also sniped well at times, Beale was not too bad either...

    But Horwill was right - it was "dumb" play. Eales would never have allowed the game to get to 70 minutes before the team got out of 1st gear. And neither would have McKenzie....

  • Comment number 41.

    Interesting to see that the bulk of the Southern Hemisphere teams didn't translate to a Northern Hemisphere steamrollering or a lack of stamina in the last twenty. Traditionally, the Aussies are clinical in finishing chances whilst Ireland get over-excited. The right amount of enthusiasm from Ireland yesterday meant a win whilst Australia looked non-plussed.

  • Comment number 42.

    Great and deserved win. Tbh I've always thought Aus a bit oversold for the RWC. They don't like being bullied and their fairly average pack has no strength in depth. The key is not giving their backs the ball with space. And Bryce was just guessing at scrum time.

  • Comment number 43.

    Yes Bryce made some clear errors at the scrum (like penalising Australia becuase their head and shoulders went down before Irelands - and then penalising them again when the opposite was true!)

    But lets not get way from the fact that Ireland gave the aussies a good going over in the scrum. Plus also if you wanna talk about decisions what a bout the clear penalty in front of the posts that should have been given for the aussie second rower (I can't remember which one!) 'cleverly' obstructing the No. 9 (though Redden maybe made a bit too much of it for the referee's liking...)

  • Comment number 44.

    Anyone posting here talking about "what if Pocock had been fit" and "Ireland weren't actually that good" and "Australia didn't play that well" should stop spouting a load of patriotic bile and nonsense and realise one thing. This was a magnificent performance. The simple fact of the matter is that Ireland went onto the paddock yesterday with a fantastic game plan and executed it to perfection. Watching the match yesterday reminded me of why I love this game. It is not all about fast, free flowing rugby with loads of tries (no matter how much Paddy O'Brien tries to re-write the rules of our beloved sport). It is also about pride, commitment and camaraderie. Watching the Irish will each other on with every penalty won was a joy to behold just as much as it was to watch the Australians get more and more deflated under the onslaught of Irish pressure. Australia were poor, but only because Ireland made them so.

    This is one Englishman at least who can say without any caveats- congratulations Ireland, you were magnificent.

  • Comment number 45.

    Post 36. It will have to be the semis for Ireland vs England. Assuming Ireland can get past either Wales or Samoa and England (assuming they can beat Scotland) beat France.

  • Comment number 46.

    Ireland were great but they need OGara instead of Sexton....he brings a better balance to the team.

  • Comment number 47.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 48.

    No 44. I too am an Enlishman and a massive Gaelophile (if that is the right term!) and can say "without any caveats- congratulations Ireland, you were magnificent".

    When I said I have seen Ireland play better I was meaning that if the three-quarters were firing like they were 2 or 3 seasons ago, and if we had seen more rampaging runs from the back-rowers, then Australia might have got a bit of a tonking! Obviously on top of the tremendous tioling of the forwards at the coal-face, and not instead of...

  • Comment number 49.


    As a Kiwi I agree with you I think that is a great win from the Boys in green. I doubt that Pococks inclusion would have changed the game plan or the result. I am over the moon that BOD can have a game here that he will remember for all the right reasons.

  • Comment number 50.

    I don't get it! The way Ireland beat Australia is the reason I much prefer rugby league. The sides that can't play rugby win games by just stopping the other side playing. They win via the interpretation of the referee. If he is on their side he awards penalties. You lot that are lauding Ireland get what you deserve. Half of the game is spent setting and resetting scrums. Games should be won by try scoring. The points awarded for tries should be increased or the points awarded for penalties should be reduced. France, Australia and New Zealand try to score tries and thus entertain the fans. What entertainment is there in getting the ref' on your side and him giving you penalties. This type of rugby might win the odd battle but thankfully, will never win the war. Boring boring Ireland!

  • Comment number 51.

    "I don't get it! " I think that's the point. Ire 'got the ref on their side' simply because their pack outplayed the Oz one. If you don't like that then you're much better off watching RL.

  • Comment number 52.

    No. 50 - I think it was Olly Campbell who said the way to get more tries in RU was to make penalties 5 points and tries back to 3!

    Similarly, you can see with the apparent difficulty that most kickers are having with the ball off the tee, teams are more likely to transgress to try to win or slow the ball down and then not only is there a chance it won't be spotted but then there is an added chance the kick might be missed.

  • Comment number 53.

    nug1 obvously is short for nugget!

  • Comment number 54.

    What a great game, from one end of the field to the other time after time. I had seen some posts asking if NZ'ers were really interested in this workd cup, can't speak for the rest of the country but I can say here in Blenheim we have set up street signs in Russian because we host the russian team (no games here though 'cause we are too small). we had a big turnout when they arrived and are arranging a big sendoff when they leave and on opening day we had so many Tongan flags around town and cars driving round with Tongan flags out the sunroof you would have thought we were in Tonga. Same thing on friday with heaps of Samoan support. I suspect the truth is as the real home of rugby we will support any team that plays with heart, that's why I started supporting the samoans and ended up shouting for the Welsh!

  • Comment number 55.

    Munster/boy... give yourself a bit a shakey there buddy. So I'm full of hatered and bile because I thought Ireland would not beat Australia... outlandish as my predictions were they were certainly not based on hatred or bile. I'm fully aware that I stretched the imagination on some of my weekend scores, but hey it is after all only a game.
    Your team has just won a wonderful victory that has basically blown the competition open... why worry if someone like me choose to work against the grain;-)

    Italy to beat Ireland; France to beat New Zealandand; Scotland to beat Argentina; Romania to beat England; Namibia to beat Wales... if you get my drift.

  • Comment number 56.


    Give it up we have all seen your posts which for the most part have been obnoxious and mostly woefully incorrect about most things. Respect is something earned I can /only surmise that your life is not the best..........

  • Comment number 57.

    Aus needed the kick up the ass, Ireland played fantastically well at targeting the Aussie weaknesses, this is true. But, Australia would have gone into this game with the same cockiness which meant they didn't absolutely drub Italy (in spite of the scoreline, they only really played for 20 minutes in the 2nd half) and lost to England in 2007.

    Not to take anything away from a superb Irish performance, but as a Scottish/Australian dual national I really hope that this gives them the kick up the ass they need to not go into any semi/quarter finals with that same arrogance!

  • Comment number 58.

    Oh dear WanakaXV you sound a right barrel of laughs.

  • Comment number 59.

    This was a great forward-led performance from Ireland, but likening it to England's performance against Argentina is cobblers. England undoubtedly got too much stick for their performance, but some of it was fair criticism. In both their games so far, England have been far too indisciplined, giving away penalty after penalty, for which a kicker of quality would have made them pay a far heavier price. Argentina are tough opponents and good and stopping others from playing, so England should be given credit for scraping out a win against them. Ireland's performance against Australia was a thing of beauty for the ferocity as well as the discipline. When you play that kind of game, you have to keep your discipline or the top sides will make you play. I am an England fan, but I think Ireland have given a prime example of how stereotypical northern-hemisphere rugby (although SA play the same way too) can be extremely effective. England need to cut out the ill-discipline if they want to beat any of the top sides, whether they're from the northern or southern hemispheres.

  • Comment number 60.

    This result does not surprise me. We all know how well Ireland can play when they get it right. They've put in great performances in Dublin against all the top teams, except New Zealand, in recent years. They were brilliant against England in March, with possibly only New Zealand able to withstand such a performance. It's great that Ireland have put in a performance like this at a World Cup and its also good for Northern hemishere rugby as its opened up the draw. Our Southern hemisphere friends sometimes forget that there's only been 1 world cup final without a European team (1995).

  • Comment number 61.

    Great game, great atmosphere. There was 58,000 in attendance and 8000 of those tickets were sold to the Irish meaning someone what half of that 50,000 were kiwis supporting the Irish lol.

    As for Ireland they got right in thier arrogant faces and good on them. I hear the aussie media claimed that they had the best scrum in the world. Talk about complete lack of respect. Ireland outplayed the aussies tactically. I dont understand why the aussies were tying to play expansive rugby in the rain. Obviously this style is prone to unforced errors in the rain.

  • Comment number 62.

    Ireland won not only because the Irish pack kept the Aussie forwards pinned but also, and more importantly, because the Irish backline kept the Aussie game-breaker backs (all 5 of them) pinned as well - Ireland posseses a backline that would love to operate behind a consistent controlling pack.
    With that said, unless the Springbok forwards totally subdue & starve the Aussie forwards (and their last match ended up slightly in favour of the Aussie pack), I can't see the Springbok backs being able to hold back Cooper, Beale, O'Connor and co in the quarter finals.
    Dependent on the NZ v France result (and as a Kiwi this is an open result at the moment ... and would either team be that worried in losing?) the Finals may become a North pool vs South pool.

  • Comment number 63.

    As an Irishman I saw this coming. the penny dropped after France game at home in the warm ups that a lot was being left on the training pitch for the Oz encounter. Still I never expected a performance so ferocious. It's great to see the NH lads sticking together on this wall.(well for the time being anyway!)... Let's bring the Webb Ellis north again! regardless of who, but preferably Ireland ;-)

  • Comment number 64.


    On Friday I said that Ireland's normal tactic of pulling an opponents head off whilst shouting "it's a maul ref!" wouldn't be enough against the fast running Australians. I can now state, based on Irelands performance, that there was neither a jot nor scintilla of truth in my utterances! On the contrary, pulling an opponents head off whilst shouting "it's a maul ref!" proved to be more than enough to beat Australia! :-)

    Huge congratulations to Ireland! An absolutely epic and well deserved win. Thank God that Ireland proved that a game of rugby doesn't have to involve 60 points being scored to be absolutely enthralling, no matter how much the IRB change the rules each season!

    The Aussie pack, regardless of what their journalists think, is still mince!

  • Comment number 65.

    As an Aussie let me just say congrats to Ireland on a deserved victory. Totally outplayed us played to a great game plan. As someone else said Aust were poor but I think that most of that can be put down to how the Irish played and the passion they showed.

    The Wallabies missed Pocock massively and on a wet pitch in a grinding game Moore was a big loss as well. There is still alot of tournament left but Oz need to find their rythem and find it double quick.

    @zcdsc Mate I read pretty much every piece of rugby related news coming out of Australia and have not read once any claim that Oz has the best scrum in the world. If saying something like starting to hold their own is a claim as being the best in the world then obviously you have been taught different definitions of words to what I have. If you have some proof then put it out their but making up rubbish just to have a pop shows more about you and ur bias than it does about poor journalism.

  • Comment number 66.

    well done simply the best. Paul Oconnel was outstanding

  • Comment number 67.

    Fantastic result, if Ireland play like that in the knockout rounds, then they might well win it all. They did brilliant in restricting Quade Cooper and Will Genia the time and space they need to go through their tricks. A delight to watch. Great for the tournament and world game.

  • Comment number 68.

    65 Davico

    "making up rubbish just to have a pop shows more about you and ur bias than it does about poor journalism."

    Welcome to our world! Sadly this is stock in trade for England fans! Somebody quotes a non-existent press article (or egregiously misquotes a real press article) stating that England are the best Rugby Union team on the planet, complains about "English Arrogance", then all the usual suspects pile-in behind them. The result, instant blog and predjudices, absorbed through the mother's knee, are confirmed and reconfirmed over and over again.

    It gets really, really boring!

    What you need to find out is, what historical nugget Paul O'Connel unearthed that allowed him to portray Australia as the Antichrist whilst "motivating" his forwards before the game!

    Good luck to both teams in the rest competition. My money remains on Australia!

  • Comment number 69.


    Actually, you do have point as my father is half kiwi so Ill admit there is bias in my judgement but c'mon, you must be living on Mars if you havent been reading the rubbish coming out of the the Aussie rugby press.

    But then again, its best you be in Australia to actually know what gets printed in the newspapers. From 'Rugby heaven', to the arrogance of the Foxsports commentary team which in most cases are the worst Ive seen from any commentary team around the rugby world. The game against Ireland was more of a whinge fest about the ref than the actual players themselves. Phil Kearns is as bad as they get. You would think being an ex wallaby forward, you would at least grasp onto the laws of the breakdown rather than having a go at the ref for doing his job on national television.

    Theres always that re-occuring pattern of Australia rugby press. Australia rugby achieves a major result, then the hype builds, then in dramatic fashion it all capitulates. Having Deans aura as the 'super coach' just adds to this.

    IMO, it does play into the minds of the Wallabies which is why their biggest weakness is inconsistency. If you let the hype and complacency get to you then obviously it does affect how you approach the game. This I believe is the reason they have lost to the likes of Samoa, Scotland, Munster, and Ireland which was unthinkable under previous coaches.

  • Comment number 70.

    A fantastic performance from Ireland. The best performance of the World Cup so far. They stopped Australia at source and offered a lot in attack through their pack.

    Sets things up nicely for the quarter finals but if Ireland do face Wales, I don't think they'll have things their own way. Australia sorely missed David Pocock. If Sam Warburton and Dan Lydiate stay fit for Wales, the breakdown will be a greater contest. With equal possession, Wales will be confident their midfield can make inroads into Ireland's 10-12 channel.

    I fancy the Wallabies to beat South Africa as well.

  • Comment number 71.

    I have to say I find the comments of some many contributors to this blog (Anglophone, Wanaka15, SpiritofSaints and Hause 316), to be refreshing, insightful, thoroughly open and in the spirt of this excellent and I am sure best ever RWC.

    On the flip side there are the totally ridiculous utterings of porridge-times, Banditzz and nug1 which are nothing other than utterly risable. The objective of a blog is to engage positive exchange rather than to troll (which I understand is the internet vernacular for a mindless criticism of an honest endevour)! Why so much hatred and envy? What is your problem guys? Yes its great to win but you learn so much more from defeat than from victory. Trust me I know, Ireland and Munster had their fair share of defeats before they began to experience even modest victories (against Australia for example in 4 previous WCs, we twice lost by 1 solitary point). Ease off on the bile for God's sake, it honestly provokes hatred and that is not what sport or even this blog is about! Ireland deservedly beat Australia yesterday and not even the most partizan Australian on this blog has suggested otherwise. Lets applaud valour and sheer hard work and self belief rather than slating it. Ireland is a country of a meer 5 million inhabitants which has always punched above its weight. Our English, Welsh, Scottish (excepting of course porridge_times), NZ even Australian counterparts have been quick to say well done on an honest endevour and well executed game plan! That is honourable in sport and I can honestly say that in my experience this constant support has brought most Irish supporters to overcome their natural tendancy towards anglophopia and to instead applaud effort and talent whatever may be the origin of it's protagonists.

    This is an excellent WC and NZ have to remain the over-whelming favourites although I don't think they will relish having to overcome Australia or South Africa along the way. Then again if NZ want to win the WC then I am sure they will want to do it in style and what better way than to overcome traditional foes such as France, Australia and perhaps England along the way! On the other side of the draw, there are realistically 4 N Hemisphere sides who have now a serious chance of making the final and that is excellent for the game.

    The so called minnows also need to be applauded. Trust me Georgia will soon make the WC quarter finals, they have the indigenous support for the game and the depth of talent to achieve that end without question!

    In the meantime, come on%

  • Comment number 72.

    Great win for Ireland, a dominant performance, all the hallmarks of the Munster wins in Europe the way they bossed the contact and breakdown. However, besides this performance I wanted to pick up on something in the article about this being Ireland's biggest ever Test win. That may be the case, but to my mind this Irish side have, if anything, underachieved in the last 5-6 seasons (given the talent at their disposal) and it would be a shame if this proved to be a high water mark for them. The key now is for them to refocus on the coming matches to make sure they do not bow out in the quarters by losing to a side that on this form they should beat. They don't want to fly home saying 'we gave it a bash' - they must set their standards higher than that. Lost of emotion at the final whistle, O'Gara handing in his notice had an end of term feel to it - but we are in the second round of pool matches. The job is not half done; it's barely a quarter done.

  • Comment number 73.

    @ 68 Anglophone - "what historical nugget Paul O'Connel unearthed that allowed him to portray Australia as the Antichrist", brilliant!! I've wondered for a few years now if England were the only team Ireland could stir up a Celtic warp spasm against to play like possessed demons. Maybe the speech was the day that O'Connel made gold appear white?

  • Comment number 74.

    I take exception to the remark you made about POC. I don't think that his only method of motivation is to search the historical archives for a "nugget" to fire up his team. now, in relation to how he fires up the lads for England games, don't get me wrong the past is the past. But Ireland are a former colony of England and with that comes baggage. England occupied our country for 800 years. We're entitled to use that in a team talk if we want.(it's not much to ask as long as it remains on the field).....

    In relation to some of the ozzy comments;
    Yes we beat you through the pack and we didn't show a cutting edge. we do have a quality backline but why would we play to your strengths when we could play to your weakness's. The notion seems idiotic that anyone could complain that we took Australia on up front. it's like a heavy weight boxer complaining after getting knocked out that his opponent didn't fight the fight he wanted him to. This is cup Rugby Australia. lesson learned

  • Comment number 75.

    @ 74 hause316 - move on please. We could dig up bad intent/wrongdoings by ANY nation, including Ireland, over generations long past and nothing to do with current ones if we want to fester back in those times.

  • Comment number 76.

    Well done Ireland, a great performance. Good to see one of the Celtic nations beat one of the tri-nations.

    Pity some people seem to blethering on about England (who seem to have their group won already according to some) - aren't there enough articles for you to get on your soap boxes about already?

  • Comment number 77.

    71 Munsterboy

    What a nice post! The trolling does gets boring, but let's face it, the boundary between banter and trolling is a little blurred at times.

    Couldn't agree more about the whole minnows thing. All the supposed minor teams have been very feisty indeed and it raises an interesting question. I have just watched England beat Georgia 41-10 (or thereabouts)...cue loads of self-loathing and doubtless a trenchant piece from rugby expert Ben Dirs tommorrow. England it seems can only run in six tries against a team who nearly all ply their trade in the top French league! What a bunch of losers eh?

    Last time England played Georgia in 2003 they beat them 83 - 6. Is the current England team only half as good as in 2003 or are the Georgians twice as good...or possibly much more? Comparisons between the two games are a bit meaningless. The Georgian team that played today was feisty and well organised and would be handful for anybody. They have come on leaps and bounds! It shows that, like in football, the days when a major team could go out and beat one of the also-rans at a canter are well over...and a good job too!

    The whole goal kicking thing in Dunedin is weird. I watched the Georgian kicker hit the ball sweetly enough then saw it "seam" away off-target like a piece of good bowling. I wonder if, rather than the balls being being the cause, the warmer air generated by thousands of fans in an enclosed stadium and trapped higher up could cause the ball to "swing"? The players practice with the ball in an empty stadium and have no problems. Any scientists out there?

  • Comment number 78.

    Steve S,
    I'm not trying to promote hatred or anything of the sort. But it is a fact that national rivalries are born from darker places long ago in does not not mean that this hatred exists today (If england end up in the final i'll be supporting them)

    But let's not pretend that the rivalries England have between Germany and Argentina (in football) come from anywhere other than WW2 and the falklands. what I'm saying is that as long as it is something that is left on the field and the game is played in an honest and fair manner, what's the harm.

  • Comment number 79.


    Gotcha! Yeah yeah yeah! The simple point is that if an England captain gave a wind-up speech to his forwards on the same lines about Ireland (and believe me there are in fact plenty of choice nuggets from recent history that he could use) then he could be prosecuted under English law for inciting hatred...and rightly so!

    It always sours POC a bit for me!

    Anyway, congratulations once again Ireland and over and out! I wouldn't want to upset folk by talking about the world cup on a world cup blog published by the BBC.

  • Comment number 80.

    @ Anglophone,
    It's an interesting idea about the warmer air generated by the crowds..
    I'm a physics grad so not to say my opinion is totally qualified but it's a good guess. Warmer air would only help the ball to rise. Unless the for some reason one side of the ground is generating more warmth than the other and thus causing a pressure difference from one side of the field to the other. I watched the game( granted I was half asleep) the kicker missed in both halves of the game. And he consistently missed to the right so i'd say it's more to do with his strike than any wind. Sexton did say that the conditions were tricky but O'Gara seemed to have no trouble. I think that the ball is giving trouble to some of the kickers who are striking it a certain way.

  • Comment number 81.

    Anglophone (again)
    I wouldn't care what an English captain would say about the Irish when behind closed doors in a dressing room. You do what you gotta do to fire up.Also i believe that a lot of the Lions in 2009 came out with huge compliments for POCs leadership Thanks for the congrats and best of luck to you guys too.

  • Comment number 82.

    Hi Hause 316,

    I was gonna reply to comment to 74 and then I saw comment 78.

    As an English person I can state that I believe the euphoria of beating Argentina in FIFAWC2002 had more to do with Argentina celebrating in the faces of the England team after our frankly, heroic, performance in defeat in France '98 - rather than the Falklands War.

    Whether the Falklands War was a motiviation for Argentina - you'd have to ask them, but I think we know the answer? The animosity towards Germany is, hopefully, a thing of the past - we are all anglo-saxons after all!

    I have no problems with POC using Irish history as a motivating factor in pre-match team talks. As long as he recognises in the cold light of day that history should not be over-simplified (Wolfe Tone was a protestant, shock-horror! by the way, for instance)

    But to refer to the second half of your post (and some of mine earlier) yes, that is exactly right - Ireland decided to concentrate more on the weaknesses of the oposition and not their own strengths and so bravo to them!

  • Comment number 83.


    I did not say that the press do not go overboard sometimes as press in ALL countries do hence my remark re poor journalism. Feel free to point me to the article or quote were it states that Australia is the best team in the world and I will happily withdraw what I said. If not I have to repeat my point that your statement was just immature and clearly shows ur own bias.

  • Comment number 84.

    What i thought was hilarious was the Sydney Morning Hearld had a poll before the match, will the wallabies win all their pool match's, over 80% thought they would!!

    Ireland had four bad test games going into this, before that the provinces have been winning Heineken Cups, Magners Leagues, this team had the largest number of Lions (i think??), 2 former Lion captains and a current European player of the year and they hopped off England in March, plus a grand slam 2 seasons ago. People are very quick to write off this team, they don't become bad overnight, we're prob the second team in Europe (ahead of England and Wales anyway, and if France keep up their form we have a chance), why is everyone so quick to write them off!?

  • Comment number 85.

    I was unaware that POC had referred to Ireland's history with England to motivate the players. Yes he perhaps referred to the importance of the opening of Croke Park in the contect of Irish sport but that was due to the fact that the stadium had been closed to football and rugby for circa 100 years and because people had lost their lives in the stadium (no need to go into the details of the event). Croke Park was traditionally a launch pad for Ireland's manifestations in favour of its celtic heritage and its quest for independence. In this sense Croke Park means more to most Irish people than Wembly or Twickenham means to the average English man.

    Hause316, I strongly doubt you said anything of the sort but just to be clear, I don't think its acceptable to make Xenophobic statements to rally the players (even if it remains within the confines of the dressing-room, racism is racism and it has no place in sport) but I would be hugely surprised if POC has at any stage in his career stooped to "Anglophobia" or any other such low to spur on the boys in green. It wouldn't work as it would infuriate the Ulster born players in the team. Give POC some credit, he is perhaps the greatest captain and motivator we have ever had and he has always been a model of diplomacy. Many of his Lions colleagues stated that he was the best Captain they ever played under!

    RE the ball, I do think its more than unusual that all kickers bar perhaps Morne Stein are struggling, may be it is the pressure but they have had ample time to practice with it. I just hope Sexton finds his kicking boots soon or ROG needs to start at 10!

  • Comment number 86.


    Thanks most people who know me think the same. My happiness with my life is based upon a great family great mates living in what I consider one of the worlds great countries. But I think being able to converse with people without smashing everything they say because it does not agree with my thoughts is crucial.

    As has been said before you are a quest in NZ from Scotland your attitude is not only letting down your Scots heritage it is painting a bad image of NZlanders which I object too....Your comment about living in a mud hut is out of order and is precisely the sort of racist clap trap we have been fighting against for 150 years as well as why so many from all countries are asking you to stop your bile and vitriol ....back off or go home to Scotland.

    You are trying to now hide behind a sort of sad sarcasm which has no one fooled, and I doubt if it fools yourself.

    Now the real reason for these Blogs

    Again great game Ireland even if it does make the ABs road to the RWC win appear somewhat more confused. On the motivation thing I agree on the filed within reason ok, I guess I would say that given the Haka.

    Few notes on the England game. I can't help feeling that some of the media (british and NZ) are somewhat hard on England. They did win by scoring 6 tries. Yes a lot to work to do. Strangely for me at the base of the scrum and some of the hands on the floor stuff it just plan stupid. BUT Georgia are a vastly improved team who mostly play in Frances TOP 14, which as I understand it is Europe's 2nd domestic league. Would they beat SA, NZ, AU with that performance I doubt it. But a team can only build as it goes along. I am concerned that the ABs have had some very very easy matches and have seen what happens to them when that takes place.

    Oh and well done Wales for beating NZ other team....Only joking about the NZ other team aye!

  • Comment number 87.

    Regarding the ball. See my post last week - the more "perfect" it is the more it will move in the air, not less so. But that is just an unscientific opinion.!

  • Comment number 88.

    Amazing Amazing certainly proved a lot of people wrong. No one on this blog gave Ireland a chance...Man it feels good right now :) What a performance!

  • Comment number 89.

    My username betrays my loyalties but why in the world are we repeatedly playing a number 10 who cannot nail penalies consistently when we have one at our disposal who can?

  • Comment number 90.


    I think Sexton's (is that how you spell it) defensive qualities are better that O'Gara's could that be the reason?

  • Comment number 91.


    Yes I predicted Ireland would lose, and rightly copped some flak for it, but you really need to move on. If you think that my reference to living in a mud hut is a slurr on NZ or in any way racist then I'm sorry nothing could be further from the truth.
    Self deprecation and sarcasim are widely recognised forms of humour in most circles... I take it that Billy T. James was not your cup of tea then.
    I'm sorry that you miss interpreted it as bile and vitriol. My keyboard skills don't allow me to type in a slapstick visual easy to understand type humour... but I'll try.

  • Comment number 92.


    As an act of good will I will accept your apology in good faith.

    It has nothing to do with your predictions as strange and incorrect as they were. It is about your wording and smashing down of folk. You are right lets move on and I truly hope you will think about what others may think about your posting before you press the go button!!!!

    Billy T was unique and very funny but was never malicious ...think about it

  • Comment number 93.

    Very good performance by Ireland yes, however claiming it as a great test victory is a little silly, ultimately this game will make no difference other than who goes into which half of the draw for the quarter finals.

    Ireland have proved time and time again they are capable of this kind of victory on any single day. The thing they have always lacked is the ability to string 3 or 4 of these performances together, which they will have to do if they want to win the tournament.

  • Comment number 94.

    I can understand all the comments regarding the Irish win giving the NH teams confidence/momentum moving forward against the SH teams but as for the Irish talking up their position in the ranking of the sport and more for underrating the Wallabies that is just complete nonsense.
    That was a great performance from the Irish and I really hope they keep that level of game throughtout the rest of the tournament as it will make things more interesting in this WC but that was a very poor performance from the Wallabies - they didn´t turn up. Are we discarding what the Wallabies have brought to the WC in past years!? Age works against them as much as it works for them as they don´t fear anyone albeit they carry a level of complacency in their game. I definitely expect to see a much more focused Wallabies team for the remainder of the WC

  • Comment number 95.

    adrenilenepotato wrote:
    "...but it is the group stages that mean absolutly nothing ,australia will qualify,they have the quality to beat anyone.ireland haven't..."

    What amazes me is that you spout this load of nonsense AFTER the result which makes a total mockery of your comment! Did someone beat you with the silly stick?

    Losing against the Irish will probably give the Aussies a far more difficult run and with that in mind you believe the Aussie players werent unhappy that they lost this "Unimportant" group game? They may have the quality to beat anyone but on the day - they didn't:

    They lost against a team ranked a way below them.
    They didn't score a try.
    They didn't actually score a point in the second half of the game.
    They looked beaten before the game was over AND eminently beatable generally.

    Don't give up your day job!

  • Comment number 96.

    banditzz wrote:

    "...but if they played next week Australia would wipe the floor with them. Don't right off the Aussies yet they are still very much in the hunt. The Boks would not have liked that result..."

    Two points:

    1. But they played LAST Saturday and LOST. By stating that "If Australia played the Irish NEXT week, they would wipe the floor with them", you are in effect suggesting that Australia would win the same hypothetical game in the future when they have already lost the real game in the past. That is nonsense of the highest calibre!

    2. Do you really thing the Saffies are going to be worried seeing such a dismal capitulation by the Aussies? REALLY? Right now I'd be delighted if my local club team were due to face the Australians. It's interesting to note that the other side of the world cup equation is already calculating if/when they might meet the Irish and how - on Saturday’s performance - they might actually prefer to play the pitiful Aussies instead!

    Enjoy RWC2011


  • Comment number 97.

    I was biting my nail and punching the floor screaming for Ireland. Although my hand hurt, it's well worth it. One hell of a game to watch.

    As for Aussie, they probably ask themselves what went wrong. IMO, it's all in their mind.

    I will screw to the tele this Saturday: New Zealand vs France. Can't wait to see New Zealand dancing the Haka with full of anger and vengeance. This time it's personal. 8 years of agony.

  • Comment number 98.

    As an aussie fan I was gutted so see us smashed up by the spirited Irish and they deserved the victory no question. You are only as good as your reserved and in a competition like this you need a really strong squads. The injuries did take their toll and we showed we just don't have the fire power waiting in the wings. If we can put out our best side we are capable of beating anyone. Get a few injuries and we are vulnerable. Look at the current Eng cricket team, they get an injury and their repleacement is just as good as the person he replaced. That is what seperates a good team from a champion team.

    One positive for the Wallabies is that the pressure is now off us and we have been pretty much written off. It will be a tough ask but if we get our best team on the park we will give anyone a run for their money.

    Well played Ireland

  • Comment number 99.

    At 10:31 18th Sep 2011, nug1 wrote:
    "...France, Australia and New Zealand try to score tries and thus entertain the fans..."

    The ONLY rugby fans not entertained were Australian - which I assume you to be by your miserable comment. The Irish, New Zealand, England and Saffie fans I know were all DELIGHTED to see the Aussies humbled by a team brimming with passion and spirit.

    As a side issue: Post game conversation on Saturday brought consensus from a variety of fans that an army of whinging Aussies would hit comments boards with exactly the kind of comment you have submitted. Well done for confirming that the Australians are sore losers.

  • Comment number 100.

    Intersting response from you and I'm not sure if there is a moral high ground to be taken on your part here and your patronizing response has actually fallen on stoney ground. You miss interpreted my comments as vitriolic, malicious and full of bile... that is your problem not mine.
    The fact that I do not rate any of the NH sides bar France and comment to that effect does not make them vitriolic or full of bile. Neither is it wrong to see myself as a Scot and not British. Just because the majority of rugbying fraternity of the UK is pro Britain does not give them exclusive rights to the sport.
    Quite rightly some extremely proud Irish fans were happy to rub my nose in just how wrong I was to write them off.
    This is an open forum and there are many differing opinions and it strikes me those who tend to accuse someone being full of bile and vitriol are usually that way inclined themselves.


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