Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pool C - Ireland v Australia

Ireland shock lifeless Wallabies

Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies is high tackled by Rob Kearney of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand.
( September 16, 2011 - Photos by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images AsiaPac)
Ireland scored the first major upset of RWC 2011 after stunning Australia 15-6 at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday.
There is no hiding the fact that a poor Wallabies side came off second best to the Irish as their key players were superbly contained by a side who in Brian O'Driscoll's words 'dug deep into the well'.
Ireland love silencing the critics - as they have done so many times in the past in such one-off games - and they did just that in a team effort that was spearheaded by loosehead prop Cian Healy
Healy was the heartbeat of an Irish scrum that helped the underdogs claim the majority of their points, while Sean O'Brien, Stephen Ferris and Paul O'Connell chipped in with strong showings.
But for Australia there are some harsh lessons to learn from this shock defeat, not least why their playmaking duo of Will Genia and Quade Cooper were seemingly absent for most of the game.
Man of the match: Little doubt about this one as Cian Healy was at the heart of this victory. He made Ben Alexander's life miserable at Eden Park and kicked on from Tom Court's scrum performance last week. Mentions too for Sean O'Brien and Paul O'Connell.

Paul O'Connell of Ireland tries to reach for the ball from Radike Samo
Wallabies Rugby World Cup dream hits massive pothole   
Wayne Smith in Auckland/The Australian
AUSTRALIA'S Rugby World Cup campaign was reduced to rubble tonight at Eden Park.   
Ireland scored the first upset of the tournament with a stunning and well-deserved 15-6 victory over the Wallabies.
The defeat leaves the Wallabies walking a tightrope in Pool C, desperately needing Italy to topple Ireland on October 2 to have any chance to avoiding a quarter-final showdown with South Africa.
Then, if they should win that – no sure thing on the evidence of South Africa’s comprehensive victory over Fiji earlier today – the Wallabies would then have to confront the All Blacks in the semi-final.
No team has ever won the World Cup after losing a pool match. In fact England in 2007 became the only team to lose in the qualifying round and still make the final.
read the whole thing here:

Tommy Bowe of Ireland is tackled by James O'Connor
next test:
Australia v USA
Ireland v Russia