Ireland flyhalf Johnny Sexton kicked five penalties as Ireland beat the Wallabies 20-16 in Sydney, reports DYLAN JACK.
The result saw the Irish win their first Test series in Australia since 1979 and the first-ever three-Test series between the countries.
The visitors were largely dominant in the first half, but some brilliant last-ditch defending from the Wallabies restricted them to just four penalties. Wallabies flanker David Pocock was key in this regard, as he made two turnovers in his 22 to ensure his side did not concede a try.
Ireland started well, holding off an initial attack from Australia before Sexton opened the scoring with a penalty.
However, the Wallabies hit back by winning possession from the subsequent kick-off before winning a penalty in Ireland’s 22, which Foley slotted to level the scores.
Both sides received a yellow card in the first half, with first Jacob Stockdale getting carded for leading with an elbow in the tackle, and then Israel Folau being sent to the sin bin for making contact with Peter O’Mahony – who had been lifted by CJ Stander – in the air.
Foley converted the penalty from Stockdale’s carding, but Ireland continued their pressure with the Wallabies again holding out. The Irish did win a penalty, which Sexton kicked to once more level the scores.
Sexton and Foley then traded penalties before an error from the Wallabies allowed Sexton to put his team 12-9 in front at the break.
Ireland continued to dominate possession early in the second half and finally crossed the tryline when Stander went over from the back of a maul.
Australia responded by dismantling the Irish scrum, before grabbing a try of their own as Marika Koroibete gathered a grubber from Foley and shrugged off a tackler to reach over and score.
That gave the hosts an extra wind as they starved Ireland of the ball and forced them into plenty of tackles. However, the visitors recomposed themselves and, after Foley missed an attempt to push his team into the lead, Sexton kicked a late penalty to extend Ireland’s lead to four points heading into the final minute.
There was late drama as Australia carried the ball into Ireland’s 22 and with two men on the overlap, Foley threw a pass that went into touch.
Wallabies players complained about a deliberate knockdown from Stockdale, but replays showed there was no conclusive evidence that Stockdale had touched the ball. Referee Pascal Gauzere then blew the full-time whistle, allowing Ireland to claim a historic series win.
Wallabies – Try: Marika Koroibete. Conversion: Bernard Foley. Penalties: Foley (3).
Ireland – Try: CJ Stander. Penalties: Johnny Sexton (5).
Wallabies – 15 Israel Folau, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 David Pocock, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Lukhan Tui, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Scott Sio.
Subs: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Ned Hanigan, 21 Pete Samu, 22 Joe Powell, 23 Reece Hodge.
Ireland – 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Peter O’Mahony, 6 CJ Stander, 5 James Ryan, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 Jack McGrath.
Subs: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Cian Healy, 18 John Ryan, 19 Tadhg Beirne, 20 Jordi Murphy, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Ross Byrne, 23 Jordan Lamour.
Photo: Brendan Moran/Getty Images