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Dublin: 11 °C Saturday 17 November, 2018


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Good morning and welcome along to our live coverage of Ireland’s first summer Test against Australia from Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

Joe Schmidt’s side arrive Down Under as the Grand Slam champions and the number two ranked side in the world, but this three-Test tour will be a real test for Ireland 18 months out from the World Cup.

Schmidt has opted to shuffle his pack for the series opener, with the head coach making six changes to his side from the one which started at Twickenham on St Patrick’s Day.

Can Ireland extend their winning run out to over a year, or will Michael Cheika’s Wallabies prove too strong on their own patch? We’re following all the action, with kick off at 11am Irish time.

The stage is set.

A view of the match programme Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Conor Murray and Joey Carbery in the dressing before the game Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

A view of Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

TEAM NEWS: Cheika has handed hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa and number eight Caleb Timu their Test debuts. Michael Hooper captains a team that includes big names like Israel Folau, Kurtley Beale and David Pocock, and boasts a total of 623 Test caps between the 15 starters.


15. Isreal Folau
14. Marika Koroibete
13. Samu Kerevi
12. Kurtley Beale
11. Dane Haylett-Petty
10. Bernard Foley
9. Will Genia

1. Scott Sio
2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa
3. Sekope Kepu
4. Izack Rodda
5. Adam Coleman
6. David Pocock
7. Michael Hooper (captain)
8. Caleb Timu


16. Tolu Latu
17. Tom Robertson
18. Taniela Tupou
19. Rob Simmons
20. Lukhan Tui
21. Pete Samu
22. Nick Phipps
23. Reece Hodge

TEAM NEWS: Ireland haven’t won a Test in Australia since 1979, and this is the side Joe Schmidt has selected for this morning’s game. The big talking point is the inclusion at Joey Carbery at out-half, in one of six changes from the England Grand Slam decider.

Rory Best was ruled out of the tour through injury but Schmidt has opted to rest several of the Leinster players — including Cian Healy, Garry Ringrose, Dan Leavy and Johnny Sexton — who helped the province to a Champions Cup-Pro14 double.

In Best’s absence, Ulster hooker Rob Herring is given his chance in a front row alongside Jack McGrath and Munster’s John Ryan, with Peter O’Mahony skippering the side in the back row.


15. Rob Kearney
14. Keith Earls
13. Robbie Henshaw
12. Bundee Aki
11. Jacob Stockdale
10. Joey Carbery
9. Conor Murray

1. Jack McGrath
2. Rob Herring
3. John Ryan
4. Iain Henderson
5. James Ryan
6. Peter O’Mahony (captain)
7. Jordi Murphy
8. CJ Stander


16. Sean Cronin
17. Cian Healy
18. Tadhg Furlong
19. Quinn Roux
20. Jack Conan
21. Kieran Marmion
22. Johnny Sexton
23. Jordan Larmour

Ryan Bailey here to bring you minute-by-minute updates, while Murray Kinsella is in position at the impressive Suncorp Stadium as we bring you live coverage of this first Test.

Ireland are on a 12-game winning streak coming into today’s Test, and with confidence sky high on the back of a memorable season at both international and provincial level, there is huge expectation coming into this series.

Which way do you see this one going?

Poll Results:

Joe Schmidt has been talking about Joey Carbery on Sky Sports pre-match. It’s a huge day for the 22-year-old.

Joey Carbery Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“He needs to make pertinent decisions at the right time to guide others around the park. He needs to build on that facet of his game.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if Timu and Kepu come down Joey’s channel early on.”

Huge Irish following inside the Suncorp Stadium as the teams come out for the anthems. First up, Ireland’s Call…


1 mins – From the kick off, Rob Kearney doesn’t even contest with Israel Folau and gives away an early penalty. The referee, by the way, is South African Mariuks van der Westhuizen.


2 mins – Poor start from Ireland, as they give away another penalty with Kearney again pinged for wiping Folau out in the air after Peter O’Mahony had stolen the initial line out. Bernard Foley has called for the tee.


2 mins — Penalty! Australia 3-0 Ireland (Foley)

No mistake from the Wallabies out-half as he dissects the posts to give his side an early lead.


4 mins — Oomph! Conor Murray positions himself under a clearing kick but is absolutely smashed by Marika Koroibete. The scrum-half dusts himself down and from the next phase of play, Robbie Henshaw does superbly to force the turnover after an Australia scrum. Ferocious start in Brisbane.


5 mins – Australia are up for this. The hosts have started so aggressively and have made a couple of monstrous hits, with Murray down receiving treatment after Koroibete made the tackle and then James Ryan’s shoulder clattered into the scrum-half’s face.


8 mins – Murray is on the receiving end of another shuddering blow as Jordi Murphy pops it inside for the scrum-half, but Keale read the play and was quickly off the line to take man and ball. Murray was penalised and the Wallabies clear.


Israel Folau tackled by Rob Kearney Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

A view of the pyrotechnics before the game Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Rob Kearney with Marika Koroibete and Will Genia Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO


11 mins – James Ryan the latest Ireland player down receiving treatment as he tentatively moves his shoulder after making a good hit on Coleman. And then Carbery is smashed by Michael Hooper as he tips it on in midfield. Incredible intensity to this Test match.


12 mins – That’s better from Ireland. They work it out wide and look to expose the Wallabies on the outside flank, with O’Mahony — yes, O’Mahony — grubbering through down this short side and Ireland have an attacking line out five minutes out.


13 mins – Rob Herring finds his man and Ireland show patience to recycle possession before Beale shoots off the line and concedes the penalty under the posts.


14 mins — Penalty! Australia 3-3 Ireland (Carbery)

A nice settler for Carbery as he knocks over the penalty from in front of the posts. Ireland are level after 14 minutes.


16 mins – Ireland have settled into the occasion after a slow start, as Keith Earls and then James Ryan produce two big moments in defence to repel the Aussies.

The latter welcomes Paenga-Amosa to Test rugby by driving him backwards and in the same movement turning the ball over as Ireland steal possession in midfield. Super-human work from the Leinster second row.


18 mins — What a tackle! Carbery’s restart is gathered superbly by Stockdale, before he is smashed into touch by Coleman, but the Ulster winger then joins the party with a try-saving tackle of his own.

Beale shows Henshaw up in midfield and just as Ireland look like they’re in big trouble, Stockdale comes across to cover and deny Koroibete in the far corner.


21 mins – This has been incredible Test match already with absolutely nothing between the sides during a ferocious and uber-physical opening quarter at the Suncorp Stadium. The heavyweight contest at the breakdown has been absolutely fascinating with the likes of Stander, Hooper, O’Mahony and Pocock battling for every scrap.


23 mins – O’Mahony is producing a captain’s performance, anyway. He has just disrupted clean Australia possession on the Irish line and Carbery is able to clear.


24 mins – Earls looks to be in a bit of bother here as he goes up with Dan Haylett-Petty and gets clattered, leaving him bloodied around his right ear. The medics are on but the Munster winger isn’t going off for a HIA, which is remarkable.


25 mins – Ireland are on the front foot, and it all comes from the trademark loop, but instead of Sexton in the pivot, it’s Carbery pulling the strings. Stockdale gets outside the cover and Earls is in space on the right, but his attempted chip over the top is blocked down.

The Munster winger is now going off for that HIA, with Jordan Larmour on in his place.


26 mins – Ireland have really changed the momentum in the last few minutes and they’ve a great chance here to take the lead after Pocock is pinged at the breakdown by the referee for what it deemed an illegal steal. Looks to have been a harsh call, to be fair.


26 mins — Penalty! Australia 3-6 Ireland (Carbery)

Two from two for Carbery as Ireland hit the front for the first time.


James Ryan tackled by Will Genia Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Rob Kearney tackled by David Pocock Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Peter O'Mahony and Michael Hooper Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO



31 mins — Ireland have really owned this second quarter, dominating the collisions and at the breakdown and wearing the Australians down. Schmidt’s side are enjoying all the territory and the door appeared to have opened, but Herring just couldn’t get the final offload away.

Folau clears his lines down field but Kearney covers the ground brilliantly to get across and then finds a brilliant touch with the outside of his left boot from a tight angle, with the ball bouncing once and trickling into touch. Class from the fullback.

Flag 34Mins

33 mins — TRY! Australia 8-6 Ireland (Foley)

Oh no, just as we were singing Kearney’s praises, the fullback fails to deal with a kick on this near side and Australia punish Ireland clinically as they switch the point of attack through Folau and the green shirts are caught narrow. Foley finishes off in the corner, but misses the conversion.


38 mins – It has been a poor couple of minutes for Kearney as he fumbles a straightforward clearance kick into touch. Not like him.

Flag 41Mins

Half-time! Australia 8-6 Ireland 

A ferocious and gripping 40 minutes of Test rugby comes to an end with the hosts leading by two thanks to Foley’s late first-half try, after Ireland had dominated the second quarter and hit the front through the boot of Carbery.

What did you make of that first half? Australia are fired up and are having a real go at Ireland.

Joey Carbery kicks a penalty Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Ireland fans Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Bundee Aki tackled by Marika Koroibete Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO


KICK OFF! We’re back underway at the Suncorp Stadium.


42 mins – What a line from CJ Stander, as he barrels through a gap in midfield and storms clear from 30 years out, but it appears the Munster number eight is held up brilliantly by Dane Haylett-Petty and Marika Koroibete. The TMO says the ‘footage is inclusive’ and we’re going back for a five metres scrum.


44 mins – Ireland remaining patient, going through the phases and searching for a gap in the defence but Australia have stood firm.


45 mins – And after all that, Ireland concede a soft penalty as Pocock again does terrific work to force the turnover six yards out from Australia’s line.


46 mins – Ireland instantly win the ball back and then Australia are penalised for being offside in midfield — but Carbery misses a relatively straightforward penalty attempt.



47 mins – Now it gets serious. Furlong and Healy are on for Ryan and McGrath.


49 mins – Ireland look to switch the point of attack and make hay down the five-metre channel off the lineout, but Bundee Aki doesn’t get the pass away quickly enough and the Australian defence reorganises.


50 mins – Another turnover and it’s Pete Samu, who has only been on the field a matter of minutes. Frustration for Ireland.


Samu Kerevi and Marika Koroibete tackle Rob Kearney Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Samu Kerevi tackles Bundee Aki Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

CJ Stander charges to the line Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO


52 mins – That was poor from Folau as he relieves all the pressure on Ireland by coming in from the side as Murphy looked to get in and steal.


54 mins — Penalty! Australia 8-9 Ireland (Carbery)

Folau’s moment of madness is punished with three Irish points as the visitors go down the other end and eventually win a penalty inside the Australia 22, with Carbery making no mistake this time. Schmidt’s side are back in front.


55 mins – That decision looked to be a bit harsh on Pocock, nevertheless Carbery slots over his third penalty. And that’s his last involvement, with Johnny Sexton entering the action for the final 25 minutes.


56 mins – And Sean Cronin is also on, replacing Herring in the front row, and what a boost it is for Ireland to bring that calibre of player on for the final quarter.


What did you make of Carbery’s performance?

A tough test for the 22-year-old, a few mistakes but nothing major. A very solid showing.

Joey Carbery Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO


58 mins – Out of nothing, Conor Murray engineers a break and Australia are scrambling, but the scrum-half opts to grubber and he overcooks it with the ball eventually going dead. It’s on a knife-edge.


60 mins — TRY! Australia 13-9 Ireland (Folau)

That’s utterly clinical from Australia.

Ireland go through phase-after-phase of possession but when Bundee Aki is turned over, the visitors are exposed out wide as Healy, Cronin and James Ryan were left out on the right wing, with Folau running it in. It had to be Izzy!



The referee has been alerted to potential foul play in the build-up and replays show Coleman tackle Iain Henderson off the ball and the officials chalk off the try. Huge let off for Ireland!



The Fields of Athenry reverberates around the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane as the large Irish support inside the ground make their voices heard.

Ireland fans during the game Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Ireland fans during the game Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO


63 mins – Sean Cronin penalised for a neck roll on Hooper as he tried to clear the Australia flanker out. Big chance for the hosts now.


65 mins – Ireland under serious pressure in their own 22. Quinn Roux has been introduced for Henderson.


66 mins – But Australia, pressing and probing and looking so, so dangerous knock on, and Ireland survive the onslaught on their line. 14 phases of energy-sapping defence.


Jordan Larmour and Dane Haylett-Petty Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Rob Kearney tackled by Samu Kerevi and Marika Koroibete Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Marika Koroibete with Rob Kearney and Conor Murray Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO


67 mins — Penalty! Australia 11-9 Ireland (Foley)

That’s a huge shove from the Aussies and they win the scrum penalty against the head, giving Foley an easy opportunity to put the hosts back in front from under the posts.


70 mins – Izzy Folau with another incredible catch under the high ball, this time beating Stockdale in the air, and then the Ulster winger is harshly pinged after scrambling back to avert the danger under pressure. That was a very poor call from the official.

Stockdale, a la James Lowe, was tackled, released the ball and got up and played on but Marius wasn’t having any of it.

Flag 73Mins

73 mins — TRY! Australia 18-9 Ireland (Pocock)

Genia taps the penalty quickly and eventually Pocock shows all his strength to crash over the whitewash, with Foley adding the extras.


76 mins – Frustration for Ireland, and it spills out of Conor Murray as he swears at the referee after he awarded Australia a scrum five metres from their own line, when a gold jersey was clearly slowing down the ball.

A big reversal and that should be that.

Flag 45Mins

Full-time! Australia 18-9 Ireland 

Kieran Marmion looks to be over for a consolation try, but the referee goes upstairs and chalks it off after a knock on in the build-up. And that’s full-time!


So, Ireland’s 12-game winning streak which extended all the way back to March 2017 has been ended in Brisbane, with Australia’s power and ruthless edge proves too much for Joe Schmidt’s men.

Bernard Foley’s 13-point haul proved crucial at Suncorp Stadium, as the hosts produced a gutsy display to withstand everything Ireland threw at time, while striking twice at the other end through the out-half and the outstanding David Pocock.

Australia head to Melbourne for next Saturday’s second Test with the advantage.


Thanks for joining us this morning, and be sure to stick around for much more reaction and analysis from the first Test from Brisbane. We’ll be joined live by Murray Kinsella shortly to pick through the game over on our Facebook page.

Until then, goodbye!

About the author:

Ryan Bailey


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