Wallabies vs Ireland, Spring Tour, result, score, injury updates, Taniela Tupou, reaction, match report

Bundee Aki scored a try on his return from suspension to help Ireland beat Australia 13-10 and secure a record-equalling 12th home Test success at Lansdowne Road despite missing talismanic captain Johnny Sexton.

A late penalty by Ross Byrne separated the two sides in a dramatic climax to a match littered with errors.

It was a tough outing for the Wallabies, who lost Taniela Tupou to what looked to be a serious knee injury, carted off in the 54th minute.

Taniela Tupou is taken off injured.  (Photo by Paul Faith / AFP)
Taniela Tupou is taken off injured. (Photo by Paul Faith / AFP)Source: AFP

Hunter Paisami also left the field with a knee injury while Andrew Kellaway came off with a foot injury as did Rob Valentini while Dave Porecki suffered a concussion.

The Irish will enter the World Cup year ranked number one in the world and are the first team since England in 2002 to defeat the All Blacks, the Springboks and the Wallabies in a calendar year.

England went on to win the World Cup in 2003 but based on this performance the Irish will need to up their game significantly even to make the semi-finals for the first time.

For Australia it was a third successive narrow defeat in the Autumn Nations Series — having lost by a point both to France and then in an historic defeat to Italy. It was the first time Ireland had defeated Australia three times in a row since 1968.

Sexton had been ruled out shortly before the teams came out having injured his calf muscle in the warm-up.

Sexton’s replacement at fly-half Jack Crowley passed his first test by converting a penalty to give the hosts the lead after a nervous opening.

Veteran Australian fly-half Bernard Foley missed a great chance to level the match in the 21st minute but his penalty went wide of the posts — summing up a rather scrappy opening quarter.

The Australians looked the most dangerous of the two sides when they had possession and wing Mark Nawaqanitawase took the eye in particular.

Wallabies return to veteran halves | 01:12

Jordan Petaia also made a defense splitting run but was brought to ground and in the process lost a boot — he valiantly tried to continue as the Wallabies kept possession but was slipping and sliding all over the place.

Superb Irish defence, though, kept the Australians at bay and finally after 26 phases of play Caelan Doris forced a turnover allowing them to clear.

However, the Irish then let the Australians off the hook by conceding a penalty inside the visitors 22 — referee Ben O’Keeffe telling both captains that another tackle round the neck would result in a yellow card.

O’Keeffe’s warning fell on deaf ears with Folau Fainga’a who got Josh van der Flier round the neck and was shown the yellow card without too much standing on ceremony four minutes from the break.

Ireland players celebrate as Bundee Aki (hidden) scores a try. (Photo by Paul Faith / AFP)Source: AFP

The Irish were unable to add to their lead before Nic White kicked into touch to signal the end of the first half.

The Australia scrum-half received a shoulder barge from Irish prop Andrew Porter which resulted in a face-off but like the first-half it was all rather tame.

The second-half took a while to warm up and Foley leveled the match 15 minutes in with a sweetly-struck penalty.

The Irish finally put an incisive attack together — spear-headed by Doris — Aki rounding it off.

Crowley converted for 10-3 with just over 12 minutes remaining. The visitors, though, hit back as Petaia went on his own despite an overlap and touched down — Foley converted for 10-10 with 10 minutes remaining.

The Irish, though, retook the lead when Ross Byrne, who had come on for Crowley, kept his nerve and landed a penalty with less than four minutes to play.

There looked set to be a late twist as the Australians pressed deep in Irish territory but twice they surrendered possession and it was with some relief that the Irish greeted the final whistle.

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