Rugby Union: Wallabies win battle of Burkes

Ireland 12 Australia 22

Pens: P Burke 7, 25, 32, 52 Tries: Knox 77

Pens: M Burke 1, 10, 42, 63, 70

Cons: M Burke 77

Half-time: 9-6 Attendance: 50,000

Until David Knox scored the only try of the game in the closing minutes, the goal-kicking Burkes ruled the Lansdowne Road roost yesterday. Matt Burke for Australia and Paul Burke for Ireland shared the penalty- goal haul, and before Knox's late effort, the score was 15-12 to the Wallaby full-back.

Which may infer that this was a dull match, but it was far from that; with new captain Keith Wood roving the field like Ned Kelly once roamed the Australian outback, Ireland's forwards gave nothing away in set piece or the loose. Both packs mauled ferociously; at times, this looked like a revved-up version of the Eton Wall Game.

Yes, this was rousing stuff but both sides might have done better to vary their tactics and approach. That applied to the Irish more than to their opponents, especially in the first half, when Paul Burke gained valuable ground with raking kicks, only for Australia's line-out jumpers inevitably to win back possession and reverse the process.

When Australia began to spin the ball late in the game, they were contained by an alert Irish cover and Wood and his re-vamped team did much to dispel the memory of the recent Western Samoa debacle. But they were clearly shattered when Knox's try and Matt Burke's conversion put the game firmly beyond their reach. The skipper had a storming match, but might do well to resist his penchant for trying to run through brick walls, though his spirit clearly restored pride and self-belief in the team.

The new men - Steve McIvor at scrumhalf and Dominic Crotty at left wing - did well, as did Anthony Foley, recalled at No8. Crotty was only on the left wing for 13 minutes, before reverting to his regular full-back position when Jim Staples retired injured.

Australia looked a pale imitation of their recent predecessors, but are certainly a competent team and deserved to win this torrid contest, if only just about. John Eales and Warwick Waugh performed well in the lines- out - as did Foley, Jeremy Davidson and Gabriel Fulcher for Ireland - but, despite the odd thrust from Tim Horan and Daniel Herbert, there was little sparkle in the backs.

But in the relative calm after the storm, with Australia having maintained their unbeaten run against Ireland since 1979, one was left with a sense of deja vu.

Which is to say that, once again, the Irish were gallant losers in a brave display which had their supporters in ecstatic full voice. But it would be far more satisfying were the team to get into a winning mode again; rather easier said than done.

Ireland led by 9-3 at half-time, as Paul Burke's three penalty goals were countered by two from Matt Burke. They exchanged penalty goals before Matt Burke's two huge kicks from half-way gave Australia a 15-12 lead with 10 minutes to go; then Knox's try and Burke's final conversion ultimately floored the Irish.

Ireland: J Staples (Harlequins); J Topping (Ballymena), J Bell (Northampton), M McCall (Dungannon), D Crotty (Garryowen); P Burke (Bristol), S McIvor (Garryowen); N Popplewell (Newcastle), K Wood ( capt, Harlequins), P Wallace (Saracens), G Fulcher (London Irish), J Davidson (London Irish), D Corkery (Bristol), D McBride (Malone), A Foley (Shannon). Replacements: M Field for Staples, 13.

Australia: M Burke (New South Wales); J Little (Queensland), D Herbert (Queensland), T Horan (Queensland), J Roff (Australian Capital Territory); D Knox (Australian Capital Territory), G Gregan (Australian Capital Territory); D Crowley (Queensland), M Foley (Queensland), A Blades (New South Wales), W Waugh (New South Wales), J Eales (capt, Queensland), D Manu (New South Wales), D Wilson (Queensland), M Brial (New South Wales). Replacements: B Robinson for Eales, 61.

Referee: B Campsall (England).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing