Ireland 27 - 24 Australia: Irish finish Autumn International Series on high
Ireland have beaten Australia 27 to 24 in the final Autumn International after a mouth-watering clash against Australia at the Aviva Stadium.
The win takes Joe Schmidt's men into the New Year in fourth place in the world rankings which could prove pivotal when the seedings are announced for the World Cup after next year's Six Nations.
And, of course, the victory adds to an already bustling feel-good factor after a win and narrow defeat against the All Blacks.
The game was Ireland captain Rory Best's 100th test appearance - the first of any Ulster man.
Ireland's man of the match Josh van der Flier told Sky Sports: "Australia are a brilliant team.
"They're a class team and we had to grind hard."
"It's always nice to get man of the match but you could have given it to any of the lads. We really stood up in defence."
Australia captain Stephen Moore added: "We didn't have enough chances in first half.
"We worked our way back in and Ireland kept coming back. They deserved to win."
IRELAND: Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster); Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster), Jared Payne (Ulster), Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster), Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster); Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster), Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster); Jack McGrath (St. Mary's College/Leinster), Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) (capt), Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster), Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster), Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster), CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster), Sean O'Brien (UCD/Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster).
Replacements: Sean Cronin (St. Mary's College/Leinster), Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster), Finlay Bealham (Buccaneers/Connacht), Ultan Dillane (Corinthians/Connacht), Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster), Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht), Joey Carbery (Clontarf/Leinster), Simon Zebo (Cork Constitution/Munster).
AUSTRALIA: Israel Folau (Waratahs); Dane Haylett-Petty (Force), Tevita Kuridrani (Brumbies), Reece Hodge (Rebels), Henry Speight (Brumbies); Bernard Foley (Waratahs), Will Genia (Stade Francais); Scott Sio (Brumbies), Stephen Moore (Brumbies) (capt), Sekope Kepu (Waratahs), Rory Arnold (Brumbies), Rob Simmons (Reds), Dean Mumm (Waratahs), Michael Hooper (Waratahs), David Pocock (Brumbies).
Replacements: Tolu Latu (Waratahs), James Slipper (Reds), Allan Alaalatoa (Brumbies), Kane Douglas (Reds), Sean McMahon (Rebels), Nick Phipps (Waratahs), Quade Cooper (Reds), Sefanaia Naivalu (Rebels).
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant Referees: JP Doyle, Craig Maxwell-Keys (both England)
Television Match Official: Eric Gauzins (France)
Rory Best (Ireland) - "I think it's probably safe enough to say I didn't ever anticipate this (getting to 100 caps). When you get your first cap for Ireland it's like a dream come true, and all you want to do is get the next one. After that every time you get picked you feel unbelievably lucky.
"Then you tick quite close to 50 and you think 'imagine getting to 50'. But now to be on the verge of 100 caps, it's quite difficult to believe. I think it will probably be more important whenever I eventually do retire, which will hopefully be a while, and you sit back and look at everything you've achieved.
"But when I do look back this will rank up there as one of, if not the best, achievements I've had in the game. What these milestones do is show how the amount of support that is out there, not just for me but for the whole Irish team.
"With the way the Aussies have been going, especially the last three games of their northern Hemisphere tour (against Wales, Scotland and France), they've shown that they're a real quality outfit. For us to finish a very tough autumn with three wins out of four would be a big boost, to back up the win against New Zealand.
"There was a lot of the performance last week we were happy with but ultimately we're in the business of winning games. We want to go out on Saturday and perform. Whoever steps in, we expect them to step in seamlessly and perform. That's how you grow a squad, grow competition and get results."
Stephen Moore (Australia) - "When you get to this stage of the tour, you've been training hard and you're played a few Test matches so that's a big challenge for this team to be able to front up and play our best game of the tour.
"That's something we've tried to address during the week, we've tried to keep our training as intense as we have all tour and we're ready to play now on Saturday.
"I think if you look at the way Ireland have played over the last month, clearly (it's) a huge challenge. I think they're playing as well as they have for a while and they've shown that in Chicago and even last weekend, I know they didn't get the result but they played some great rugby and their consistency was there. We're going to have to play our best game of the tour to win."
WHAT ARE THE ODDS?
Ireland win: 5/6
Australia win: 11/10
PAST FIVE MEETINGS:
Ireland 26 Australia 16: November 22, 2014 (Aviva, friendly)
Ireland 15 Australia 32: November 16, 2013 (Aviva, friendly)
Ireland 15 Australia 6: September 17, 2011 (Eden Park, World Cup)
Australia 22 Ireland 15: June 26, 2010 (Brisbane, friendly)
Ireland 20 Australia 20: November 15, 2009 (Croke Park, friendly)