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).

Sport
The sun rises over St Andrews golf course, but will it be a new dawn for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club?
sportAnd it's Yes to women (at the R&A)
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
footballToure's lack of defensive work is big problem for City
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Volunteer your expertise as Trustee for The Society of Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...

Email Designer

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Psychology Teacher

£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...

Food Technology Teacher

£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week