Wallaby win fails to convince
Ill-discipline dominates unpolished Aussie win over weary Irish
By Simon Dilger. Last Updated: 26/06/10 4:30pm
Burgess scores from intercept
It is unlikely that Australia's Tri Nations opponents will be quaking in their boots after an unconvincing 22-15 victory over Ireland in Brisbane.
Following last weekend's defeat at the hands of England, the Wallabies made hard work of beating another touring side playing their final game of a long season.
The home side's error strewn, ill-disciplined performance was lifted only by first-half tries courtesy of an intercept by scrum-half Luke Burgess and the individual brilliance of fly-half Quade Cooper.
Ireland, who return home from their tour winless, fought hard throughout and were not afraid to attack from just about anywhere on the field.
But they were let down by too many mistakes and gave up possession way too often to mount any serious pressure on the hosts.
Despite their best efforts the tourists were unable to grab a try at Suncorp Stadium, all of their 15 points coming from the boot of Jonathan Sexton.
It was however, the Irish who broke the deadlock, Sexton slotting his first of five penalties after Cooper was caught offside in the second minute.
The kicking nightmare continued however for Matt Giteau, whose hapless penalty miss in the closing minutes against England had condemned his side to defeat by a single point.
It was obvious that things had not got any better during the intervening week for the centre when, two minutes after Sexton's goal, he sent a penalty from right in front sailing left of the posts.
Sexton took the score 6-0 with a well-struck penalty on nine minutes but, with Giteau relieved of kicking duties following his fourth minute howler, Cooper pulled three back on the 12-minute mark.
Australia's first try came five minutes later when Ireland won a scrum from a Rob Horne knock-on.
Scrum-half Burgess whipped around the pack to grab the intercept as the Irish tried to push the ball wide and sprinted unopposed to the line.
Cooper's conversion came back off the post, leaving the scores at 8-6, but Sexton was bang on target again to put his side back into the lead in the 22nd minute, before slotting his fourth to give Ireland a 12-8 lead just before the half hour when Australia were penalised for shoving off the ball.
Soon after he and Cooper exchanged penalties to take the score to 15-11 before the Wallabies, who had trailed for the majority of the first half, snatched the lead going into the break.
The try came well after the siren, when Cooper created a scoring opportunity from nowhere with a magnificent solo effort as he danced his way through an invisible gap.
Again the Queensland Reds star saw his conversion bounce back off the post to leave his side leading 16-15 at half time.
With outside centre Rob Horne forced out at half time with a gluteal strain home coach Robbie Deans was forced to shuffle his backline on the resumption
Replacement Kurtley Beale came on at full-back, while winger Adam Ashley-Cooper moved in to centre and full back James O'Connor went onto the wing.
Giteau also seemed to find his kicking boots during the break, slotting over two penalties to extend Australia's lead further.
Both sides tried hard to attack in the second half and with it the game began to open up.
But their defences remained solid, leaving Giteau to strike the final points of the game just past the hour mark with a simple three points in front of the posts.