Saturday, 16 November 2013

Quade Runs Dublin Wallabies

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Australia ran in four tries on their way to a 32-15 victory over Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

Livewire fly-half Quade Cooper claimed a try to pass 100 international points, Michael Hooper grabbing a brace and Nick Cummins completing the scoring.

Despite crossing the line twice, Joe Schmidt's Ireland were unable to conjure a try - and the new head coach will be furious with the defensive lapses that led to Hooper's first score and Cooper's soft finish.

Jonathan Sexton limped out with a hamstring injury, the distraught fly-half leaving the field at half-time with his head in his hands.

Cooper opened the scoring with a ninth-minute penalty, before Sexton levelled from the tee after a strong Ireland rolling maul.

Cooper then fluffed a straightforward penalty, but the Wallabies struck quickly.

Stephen Moore bisected the Ireland midfield before producing a scoring pass even Brian O'Driscoll himself would have savoured.

Cummins received Moore's pass, cut in off his left wing and outfoxed the remaining cover to notch his third Wallabies try.

Soon afterwards Tommy Bowe cleared loosely from his own 22 and straight into gleeful Australian clutches.

Cooper's whipped pass sent Folau to the line, Australia worked the ball back left and Fardy's back-handed offload put openside Hooper clear to run home for his first international score.

Ireland rallied immediately, with McFadden surging into the Australia 22. Peter O'Mahony knocked on after sustained phase play, but then Ireland won a free kick at the scrum.

Heaslip's break brought two tight sneaks towards the line, before Eoin Reddan failed to deliver the killer pass. After all the pressure, Sexton had to settle for a penalty.

McFadden's searing break yielded another penalty that Sexton knocked over with Hooper sent to the sin-bin.

Another fluent Irish attack brought Sexton's fourth penalty of the night, closing an engaging half missing only a home try.

Leinster's Ian Madigan replaced Sexton at half-time, with the Racing Metro star suffering that potential hamstring problem.

Another flat Cooper pass sent Cummins into the left corner from Australia's bright start, but Bowe did just enough to deny him his second try.

Australia turned Ireland over at the scrum though, and Cooper struck all too easily from the set-piece.

The wily outside-half claimed his seventh Australia try, ghosting between Madigan and Luke Marshall's wafer-thin resistance.

Cooper landed his second penalty after Rob Kearney's uncharacteristic high-ball spill.

Ireland's scrum power then brought a penalty, that Madigan duly converted.

Ireland punted a kickable penalty to the corner to launch the final quarter, only to knock on at the line-out when Australia sacked their maul at source.

The Wallabies took that cue to wrestle back control and quickly scored through a line-out drive of their own.

Flanker Hooper rose from the pile of bodies with the ball, to confirm his second try of the night.

Tevita Kuridrani was then sent off for a dangerous tackle on O'Mahony.

The Australia centre flipped the Munster flanker and planted him on his head, and could have no complaints with the decision ruled by TMO Warren.

Replacement Conor Murray thought he had scored from a penalty snipe, but referee Chris Pollock brought back the play, refusing to allow the quick tap.

In the final minute Sean Cronin powered over but the replacement hooker was denied his first Ireland try, with the TMO chalking it off due to a Murray knock-on in the build-up. That just about summed up Ireland's night.

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