Australia tour - Croke Park, 15 November 2009, 15:00 local, 15:00 GMT
Ireland (6) 20 - 20 (10) Australia (FT)

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Hello and Welcome to our coverage of Ireland v Australia live from Croke Park. Buoyed by their gritty victory over a poor England last week, the Australian Grand Slam train rolls into Dublin looking to stay on track to their first clean sweep since 1984.

But despite their confidence after their win at Twickenham, the Wallabies will know that the Irish, fresh from their own Grand Slam, will be a much tougher proposition. Indeed unlike the inexperienced and injury-ravaged England, the men in green are almost at full strength, with British and Irish Lions dotted throughout the side, particularly in a truly world class backline, led as ever by the superb Brian O'Driscoll, who makes his 100th international appearance today.

Australia on the other hand have been shorn of experience, particularly in the midfield, where the absence of Berrick Barnes and Sterling Mortlock has allowed young tyros Quade Cooper and Digby Ioane to make their mark. But they still have the quality and composure of the likes of Matt Giteau, Drew Mitchell and captain Rocky Elsom.

Ireland are unbeaten in 2009, and they'll be desperate to go out and show that their Grand Slam was no fluke, meanwhile Australia will be hoping that Ireland suffer from a post-Lions malaise and they can seize the opportunity to overcome perhaps what will be the stiffest test to their Grand Slam ambitions.

Join us at 15:00GMT for all the action, live from Dublin.

14.55 It's a dry, clear day here at Croke park as the teams come out onto the pitch. As you'd expect the stands are packed full of flag waving Irish fans. The pitch, which hosted Ireland's Football World Cup playoff game against France last night, looks to be in reasonable condition, so hopefully it will stay firm underfoot.

14.59 The teams line up for the anthems, not a huge noise for Advance Australia Fair, unsurprisingly the Aussies are very much in the minority today...

15.00 A rousing and upbeat rendition of The Soldier's Song is followed as is customary by Ireland's Call, that certainly got the crowd going and the atmosphere is crackling as we await kickoff.


O'Gara bounces the ball and on the referee's signal he kicks deep to start the game. Cooper clears it but it's a bizarre one and it's barely outside the 22. Ropey lineout from Ireland but Heaslip takes it on, that's good work on the floor from Australia and it's a turnover, which Cooper clears deep but it dribbles out of in-goal and it's a 22 drop out

2 0 - 5

O'Gara drops out but an Australian hand knocks it into touch. Better lineout from Ireland and they ship it out to the backs at the 22, O'Gara's pass to O'Driscoll is just too far in front of him and all he can do is get a fingertip to it and put it straight into the hands of Drew Mitchell who screams in untouched for the opening try

3 0 - 7

Easy conversion for Giteau just to the left of the posts.


Better work from Australia at the restart and Cooper clears long to Kearney, who sends up the up and under, he nearly gets to it but it bounces straight to Mitchell, but he's adjudged to be offside and Ireland have a penalty just outside the 22.

5 3 - 7

O'Gara makes no mistake with the kick from just to the right of the posts and Ireland are on the board.


A mixup on the restart by Heaslip but they secure the ball and it's cleared to just inside halfway. Australia go short at the lineout but Ireland slow it down and Giteau is forced to send up a big punt. Fitzgerald takes it but he's smothered by Australia and turned over, but Ireland are fortunate to be given a scrum for the ball not coming out.


Ireland are penalised at the scrum and it's an Australian put in now, they get a good shove on and ship it out but Ireland compete well and it's nearly turned.


Giteau gets back in the pocket but debutant prop Cian Healy is up on him quick to block and Australia are backtracking to halfway, Ireland get the turnover and look to break but O'Driscoll knocks it on as he tries to go round the blindside.


Better work from Ireland at the scrum as they put Australia under pressure, Palu just gets it and it's again cleared to Kearney, who pings it back to Cooper, who passes to Genia who puts it into touch at halfway.


Another solid lineout from Ireland as O'Conell secures it and it's taken on by Wallace and Ferris, but the openside is penalised for double movement after he's tackled and Giteau will kick for territory.


From the lineout Giteau trie to come round on the loop but Ireland read it well and he's smothered, Genia has to work with slow ball and Giteau is forced to kick for territory, the ball appears to have hit the corner flag but the touch judge rules it's gone to touch and it's a lineout.


Good passage of play for Ireland and David Wallace runs it up in front of the posts, but Australia are penalised and O'Gara will have an easy kick.

21 6 - 7

No problems for O'Gara and Ireland are within a point.


Ireland clear the restart up to halfway and Ireland pick off yet another Australian throw and they'll try to move the ball up through Bowe, but he's not getting anywhere.


Good counter-rucking by Australia and they win the penalty about 30 metres out just to the right of the posts.

24 6 - 10

Giteau makes no mistake this time and it sails over to increase the Wallaby lead.


Good restart from Australia but Rocky Elsom secures it and bursts fantastically upfield and is only hauled down by O'Driscoll's ankle tap at halfway. Giteau then kicks into space and Ireland will have the lineout inside the 22


Solid lineout and it's cleared outside the 22. Australia look to move it through the backs but Ireland are smothering it well.


Giteau spots a gap and bursts through the Irish defence and is hauled down inches from the line, but that fantastic break is undone by a penalty that's gone Ireland's way for some handbags between Palu and Ferris.


Ireland take a tap penalty from their own tryline and they move up to the 22, then it's cleared by O'Gara and fielded by Ashley-Cooper, who in turn sends it down Kearney's throat, who launches a huge kick upfield into touch.


Ireland are penalised for not keeping the gap at the lineout and it's a scrum. It's secured and cleared to Kearney who in advisably runs himself into trouble and a huge hit from Palu, he's sure to be turned but the ref penalises Palu for not wrapping up and he's going to get 10 minutes in the bin for that. The replay suggests that might have been rather harsh on Palu.


Ireland look to have overthrown but O'Driscoll gets to the bouncing ball before Giteau at the 22 and Ireland have the penalty fro Australia going in off their feet. O'Gara takes it quick and sends up a cross-kick to Bowe who very nearly catches Australia napping inside the 5, but he knocks it on and it's an Australian scrum.


Healy is penalised for swinging out at the scrum and Giteau kicks the penalty to just shy of halfway.


The lineout is secured but O'Callaghan smothers Genia and Cooper has to clear it up to Kearney, who in turn sends the Garryowen that he chases, but knocks on, and it's an Australian scrum.


Good position here for Australia and they get solid ball, Giteau kicks the grubber through to Kearney who blasts it up to Cooper who sends it back to the Irishman, who calls the mark.


Mitchell's high kick is well taken by O'Leary and Kearney sends a deep one down the middle that just dribbles over the tryline and it will be a 22 drop out


Wallace runs it from his 22 and O'Leary and O'Gara show soft hands to send Fitzgerald who bursts up the left hand touchline and is well tackled by Moore. It's an Irish penalty though as Australia are penalised for hands on the floor.


An Irish lineout at the 22 which isn't secured by O'Connell but Ferris grabs it and Ireland's forwards look to make inroads, but it's very slow ball at this point.


O'Connell takes it on by himself and he's lucky not to be turned, but it's not coming out and Ireland will have the scrum.


Good scrum from Ireland and O'Leary loops around the back , and makes it into the 22, but he's on his own and Australia are covering well and he's penalised for holding on.


Yet another picked off lineout for Ireland but once again an Irish player runs into a gang tackle with no support, this time it's Jerry Flannery who gets pinged for holding on and Giteau brings play up to inside the Irish 22 as Palu comes back on to the field.


Solid lineout from Australia and they maul it forward, Cooper takes it on but spills it in the tackle and Ferris scoops it up and looks to break, but he's smothered at the 10m line and Australia get the turnover. Just when it looks as if Australia could punish the Irish in broken play, Cooper takes the pass but knocks it on again to end the half.


Well, to describe that half as a comedy of errors would probably be discourteous to both sides, and it has been an entertaining match, but both sides have committed plentiful errors that have cost them points, the most evident example being Mitchell's intercept try.

Ireland look like a team who haven't played together for a while and it has shown in this game, knock ons, a lack of support at the breakdown and a general lack of direction has blighted their first half.

Australia on the other hand have probably just shaded it, but a lack of adventure and a desire to kick first when there were options out wide, not to mention their own errors, have meant that they're not as far ahead as they perhaps should be. That said, they have serious issues at the lineout, as O'Connel and O'Callaghan seems to be picking them off at will and they seem to be getting on the wrong side of Jonathan Kaplan at the breakdown.

If either side manages to cut out the errors in the second half, the game is there for the taking, but both sides need to keep the ball in hand and get their dangerous backs more involved in the game.


Barnes kicks the ball long to get the second half under way and Heaslip secures it for O'Gara to clear up to halfway. Moore throws short and it works and the balls out to Cooper who's at the 10 position now.


A misplaced pass sets Australia chasing back and they've lost a lot of territory there. No surprise they kick it away and Kearney takes it on and Ferris rumbles up to the 10m line.


O'Leary tries to chip it over the top but it's out on the full and it's an Australian lineout on the Irish 10m line. The ball is again secured at the front but they aren't getting it out to the backs with any pace. Horwill rumbles up to just shy of the 22, and Heaslip is penalised for going in off his feet.


Giteau lines up the shot at goal from the left but he hooks it across the face of the goalposts and that's a poor miss for a kicker of his ability.


Ashley-Cooper fields the drop-out and sends it back to Bowe who tries to take it up the blindside, but he's bungled into touch. Australia go long with the lineout and that's better, quicker ball and they burst through to the 22.


Ireland are slowing it down well at the tackle and it's kicked over to Fitzgerald who clears long to Ashley-Cooper. He passes it to Cooper who's attempted sidestep is easily read and he's smothered. The ball is kicked to Kearney who hits it long and it's a 22 drop out.


Giteau looks to squeeze through a gap on his 10m line and he nearly makes it only to be taken down by O'Driscoll, the ball is kicked away and Kearney boots it to Cooper


Ashley-Cooper receives the pass and easily scythes through the assembled Irish forwards and isn't stopped until the 10m line, Australia start to press


Mitchell takes a nice pop from Palu on the left hand touchline but Healy does very well to get across and bundle him into touch, the Australian knocking on in the process.


Good pressure at the scrum from Australia but the referee penalises the Wallabies for the it not being square and that's a big letoff as Ireland were in trouble there.


Australia are starting to hit the line with more conviction now, and keeping the ball in hand more, but so far Ireland have been equal to it, Cooper and Ioane getting hauled down as they hit the line at pace.


Palu rumbles forward despite the attentions of O'Connell, but he knocks it on in the tackle and Ireland will have a scrum just inside the Australian half


Australia have been much better in the second half at both scrum and lineout and a huge shove at the scrum gets turnover ball, Cooper takes it out at the left touchline but he slips. Horwill takes it on, only to be turned over and Ireland also have the advantage. O'Driscoll kicks it away and we'll come back for the scrum.


Luke FItzgerald is down injured and it looks like a leg injury, Munster back Keith Earls will replace him. John Hayes is being battered at scrum time and he's penalised for turning in and that's a kickable penalty just inside the 22.

54 6 - 13

No mistake from GIteau this time and that puts them a converted try ahead.


Fantastic work at the kickoff from O'Connell who offloads to Healy and the big Leinster prop smashes through tackle after tackle into the 22. It's rumbles up to the 5m line but it's slow ball but Ireland are pressing.


Ireland are camped on the line and the forwards are desperate to finish it off but neither O'Connell or Healey can get there. O'Leary passes it out to Bowe who's in space in front of the posts, he uses his strength to pull Cooper over the line with him, and it looks to be a score, but we'll go to the TMO.

57 13 - 13

No problems with that and no problems with O'Gara's conversion and it's all square here.


Mitchell kicks the ball into the Irish 22 but that's clever play from O'Gara who takes the ball with a foot in touch and it comes back to the Australian 22.


Good lineout and Ireland ship it out to the backs, O'Driscoll offloads to Wallace who gives it to Earls who takes it into the 22, O'Leary passes out of the ruck to Healy who again does brilliantly and offloads to O'Gara who's kick through goes out on the full.


Pocock takes the ball well in broken play and he bursts up to the 22 and Australia are looking for a response here, Ireland are competing well at the breakdown though and it's painfully slow.


Genia looks to pass it to Mitchell on the loop but Earls covers well and smothers.

62 13 - 18

The ball is recycled out to Giteau who sends a cross kick over to Pocock who's in space and can offload to Elsom who just gets the ball down in the corner before the cover arrives to put him into touch.

63 13 - 20

Lovely touchline conversion from Giteau and they're seven points ahead again.


Australia really looking to pin Ireland back now, kicking everything deep, but the protracted kicking duel is ended when Kearney slices the clearance to just outside the 22.


Giteau goes for the crossfield kick again and Kearney reads it perfectly and Hynes only just gets there to stop him breaking away, he tries to offload to Bowe but the pass is forward and it's an Australian scrum.


Solid Australian scrum and they have a platform just outside the 22. The ball is held off the floor and Ireland have the advantage, it's shipped out wide to Bowe who makes a few metres before being smothered, the ball is shipped out to Earls on the left wing but he's bundled into touch, but it's an Irish penalty for offside.


O'Gara's territory kick is superb bringing Ireland up to the Australian 22. Solid ball from O'Connell and Ireland are looking to maul it in.


The ball is rumbling forward and they're six metres out before it slows down and O'Leary takes it on.


O'Driscoll is isolated in the tackle and turned by Giteau, but he knocks it on and Ireland get it back, there's numbers out wide and Wallace sends a looping pass to Bowe who bobbles the ball before being tackled, but it's ruled to have been a forward pass.


Solid scrum from Australia and they can clear up to just inside the 10m line. It's a dreadful throw from Flannery at the lineout and it's stolen and Australia can clear deep to Kearney who sends a massive punt all the way back to where it was kicked from and into touch.


Mitchell chases Genia's box kick and challenges Bowe but it's into touch off the Australian. Good take at the lineout from Heaslip and it's shipped out to O'Gara who pops it up to Bowe who breaks through to the 10m line, Earls is bundled into touch and it's an Australian lineout. O'Connell steals the Australian ball and bursts through up to the 22, but Australia marshall well and Ireland aren't going anywhere, the ball's not coming out and it'll be an Irish scrum on the 22.


Better scrum from Ireland and it's shipped to O'Driscoll who tries to offload to Earls but he misses it and it's hacked on, O'Callaghan gets back to claim in and Australia are penalised for going in off their feet.


O'Gara clears to inside the 22 and Ireland are against trying to maul it into the 22 danger zone but it's not going anywhere. Smooth hands from Wallace and Earls brings the ball inside the five but a loose pass isn't gathered and Ferris does well to get a hand to it.


Ireland have numbers on the left but the loop pass is to Flannery and he's bundled into touch, but we'll come back for a penalty, and O'Gara will kick for the corner


Solid lineout to O'Connell at the back and the maul is rumbling forward but it's brought down by Australia. O'Gara tries the cross kick to Earls but to no avail and we'll have another kick to the corner.


Another throw to O'Connell at the top but Australia are dealing with this maul well and they've pushed it back.


O'Gara offloads to Bowe who's come into the line off his shoulder, he spots the gap and hits it hard, breaking through the tackles of Cooper and Ioane, he's over the line but he might well have been held up and we'll go to the TMO.


No visibility of the grounding at all there, so it'll be an Irish scrum five metres out. It's out on the left hand touchline and it's just secured

79 20 - 20

O'Leary passes straight to O'Driscoll, missing out O'Gara and the Irish captain finds himself with a huge gap in front of him between Cooper and Ioane, who runs in under the posts. Great set piece play from Ireland, but Cooper came up on the blitz far too soon and will no doubt wince when he watches that one later.


O'Gara tries to take the conversion quickly so there's a chance of getting the win, but there's no time and the referee blows up for full time.


So the Australian quest for a first Grand Slam since 1984 is over, the Australian players look disconsolate and indeed they've been the better side for much of this second half despite being outscored two tries to one. Australia will indeed feel hard done by, their work at the lineout and scrum was fantastic in the second half and Ireland could barely string any phases together until the end.

And yet it's no surprise that the final word should go to Brian O'Driscoll, turning up in what had been to that point a fairly anonymous performance from him, to score the try that clinched the draw. But high praise should also go to new cap Cian Healy, the prop doing a decent job in the scrum and being truly phenomenal in the loose, his barnstorming runs setting up the first try and really getting Ireland going forward.

That said, Australia defended heroically in the last ten minutes and Quade Cooper will rue coming out of the line early and allowing O'Driscoll to waltz in. Ireland were second best for much of the game and should be happy with a draw given how poorly they played, and will look to improve before the visit of Fiji next week. For Australia, the only aim for them now is to go home at least unbeaten and will surely look to take out their frustrations on Scotland at Murrayfield.

Thanks for joining us for today's game, we'll see you for more international rugby action next weekend.


Time Ireland  Score  Australia
0 start of first half start of first half
2 0 - 5 Mitchell - try
3 0 - 7 Giteau - conversion
5 O'Gara - penalty goal 3 - 7
20 Smith - sub on
Pocock - sub off
21 O'Gara - penalty goal 6 - 7
24 6 - 10 Giteau - penalty goal
28 Smith - sub off
Pocock - sub on
29 Palu - yellow card
40 end of first half end of first half
40 start of second half start of second half
53 Earls - sub on
Fitzgerald - sub off
54 6 - 13 Giteau - penalty goal
57 Bowe - try
O'Gara - conversion
13 - 13
62 13 - 18 Elsom - try
63 Leamy - sub on
DP Wallace - sub off
13 - 20 Giteau - conversion
64 Polota-Nau - sub on
Moore - sub off
65 Leamy - sub off
DP Wallace - sub on
69 Ashley-Cooper - sub off
O'Connor - sub on
75 Ferris - sub off
Leamy - sub on
79 O'Driscoll - try
O'Gara - conversion
20 - 20
80 end of second half
end of half
end of second half
end of half


Result Match drawn
Ground name Croke Park, Dublin
Attendance 69688
Referee JI Kaplan (South Africa)
Ireland Test debuts CEJ Healy
Australia Test debuts none


Ireland Australia
Tries Bowe (57), O'Driscoll (79) Tries Mitchell (2), Elsom (62)
Cons O'Gara (57, 79) Cons Giteau (3, 63)
Pens O'Gara (5, 21) Pens Giteau (24, 54)

Match stats

Ireland   Australia
2 Tries 2
2 from 2 Conversion goals 2 from 2
2 from 2 Penalty goals 2 from 4
100.0% Kick at goal success 67.0%
0 Dropped goals 0 (1 missed)
33 Kicks from hand 36
116 Passes 102
71 Runs 65
327 Metres run with ball 339
50% (56%/46%) Possession (1H/2H) 50% (44%/54%)
51% (53%/50%) Territory (1H/2H) 49% (47%/50%)
5 Clean breaks 5
15 Defenders beaten 6
5 Offloads 2
53 from 59 (89.8%) Rucks won 56 from 60 (93.3%)
6 from 6 (100.0%) Mauls won 1 from 1 (100.0%)
15 Turnovers conceded 9
81/6 Tackles made/missed 77/15
93.0% Tackling success rate 84.0%
Set pieces
4 won, 3 lost (57.1%) Scrums on own feed 7 won, 0 lost (100.0%)
14 won, 1 lost (93.3%) Lineouts on own throw 14 won, 5 lost (73.7%)
0 Penalties conceded 0
0/0 Yellow/red cards 1/0

Ire stats

Pos   T/A Pts K/P/R MR CB DB OL TO Tack LO Pen Y/R
FB Kearney 0/0 0 16/4/3 31 1 0 1 2 3/0 0/0 0 0/0
W Bowe 1/0 5 0/7/8 40 1 4 1 3 0/0 0/0 0 0/0
C O'Driscoll 1/0 5 2/5/3 6 1 1 0 4 4/0 0/0 0 0/0
C PR Wallace 0/0 0 0/6/10 35 0 0 1 2 6/0 0/0 1 0/0
W Fitzgerald 0/0 0 2/2/4 42 1 2 0 0 1/0 0/0 0 0/0
FH O'Gara 0/0 10 8/27/3 10 0 0 0 1 7/1 0/0 0 0/0
SH O'Leary 0/2 0 4/42/3 6 0 0 0 1 5/1 0/2 2 0/0
P Healy 0/0 0 0/2/5 20 0 4 1 0 6/0 0/0 1 0/0
H Flannery 0/0 0 0/4/2 0 0 1 0 1 4/0 0/0 1 0/0
P Hayes 0/0 0 0/0/0 0 0 0 0 0 7/1 0/0 1 0/0
L O'Callaghan 0/0 0 0/2/1 0 0 0 0 0 6/1 1/0 0 0/0
L O'Connell 0/0 0 0/3/4 11 0 0 1 0 5/1 10/2 0 0/0
F Ferris 0/0 0 0/3/8 23 0 0 0 0 9/0 0/0 1 0/0
F DP Wallace 0/0 0 0/3/8 41 0 0 0 0 9/0 0/0 0 0/0
N8 Heaslip 0/0 0 0/6/6 34 0 1 0 1 7/1 2/1 1 0/0
(F) Leamy 0/0 0 0/0/0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0 0/0
(W) Earls 0/0 0 1/0/3 28 1 2 0 0 2/0 0/0 0 0/0
Key T/A Tries / Try Assists Pts Points scored
K/P/R Kick / Pass / Run MR Metres Run with ball
CB Clean Breaks DB Defenders Beaten OL OffLoads TO TurnOvers
Tack Tackles made / missed LO LineOuts won on throw / stolen on opp throw
Pen Penalties conceded Y/R Yellow / Red cards

Aust stats

Pos   T/A Pts K/P/R MR CB DB OL TO Tack LO Pen Y/R
FB Ashley-Cooper 0/0 0 3/2/3 44 1 1 0 2 1/0 0/0 1 0/0
W Hynes 0/0 0 0/0/3 9 0 1 0 1 7/1 0/0 0 0/0
C Ioane 0/0 0 0/2/6 11 0 0 0 1 3/4 0/0 1 0/0
C Cooper 0/0 0 19/12/7 56 0 1 0 2 3/2 0/0 0 0/0
W Mitchell 1/0 5 3/1/3 33 1 0 0 0 4/0 0/0 0 0/0
FH Giteau 0/0 10 8/13/4 25 1 1 0 0 7/0 0/0 2 0/0
SH Genia 0/0 0 3/62/8 17 0 0 1 1 6/1 0/0 0 0/0
P Robinson 0/0 0 0/1/2 6 0 0 0 0 6/1 0/0 1 0/0
H Moore 0/0 0 0/0/4 9 0 0 0 0 5/1 0/0 0 0/0
P Alexander 0/1 0 0/1/3 0 0 0 0 0 2/0 0/0 0 0/0
L Horwill 0/0 0 0/1/3 4 0 0 0 1 4/1 4/0 0 0/0
L Chisholm 0/0 0 0/0/1 8 0 0 0 0 6/1 5/0 0 0/0
F Elsom 1/0 5 0/0/7 13 0 1 0 0 2/0 3/1 1 0/0
F Pocock 0/0 0 0/3/4 33 1 1 0 0 11/2 0/0 2 0/0
N8 Palu 0/0 0 0/4/7 71 1 0 1 1 5/1 1/0 1 1/0
(H) Polota-Nau 0/0 0 0/0/0 0 0 0 0 0 2/0 0/0 0 0/0
(F) Smith 0/0 0 0/0/0 0 0 0 0 0 1/0 0/0 0 0/0
(FB) O'Connor 0/0 0 0/0/0 0 0 0 0 0 2/0 0/0 0 0/0
Key T/A Tries / Try Assists Pts Points scored
K/P/R Kick / Pass / Run MR Metres Run with ball
CB Clean Breaks DB Defenders Beaten OL OffLoads TO TurnOvers
Tack Tackles made / missed LO LineOuts won on throw / stolen on opp throw
Pen Penalties conceded Y/R Yellow / Red cards

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