Sunday, June 15, 2008
The new era of Australian rugby has begun in positive fashion as coach Robbie Deans started his tenure in charge with a hard fought 18-12 victory over Ireland in Melbournes Telstra Dome on Saturday.
A 15-7 halftime lead had the Wallabies in control, but Ireland came back strongly and threatened to ruin the party for the home team with some great play by fullback Rob Kearney and loose forwards Jamie Heaslip and Stephen Ferris in particular.
Australia looked rusty, and why wouldnt they, after assembling only 12 days before the start of their international season, with their coach having joined the squad shortly after masterminding another successful Crusaders Super 14 win.
All credit to the Irish though, who proved theyre no pushovers and through a lack of precision just werent good enough on the night.
To get through that, there was some good defence. It looked tenuous at times but that's the nature of Test rugby: it's never one-way traffic, said Wallabies coach Deans.
They will be sore this morning. It's a good feeling when you wake up sore and know you've done the business.
You have to work hard for a Test win. You never get given a Test victory. It was gutsy stuff.
Ireland dominated the closing stages, but Australia held firm to keep out the Irish who will feel that this was another one that got away.
All four tries are shown in this clip.