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Ireland 27 - 24 Australia: Rory Best celebrates Australia win in 100th Test appearance

By Ruaidhri O'Connor

Published 26/11/2016

Ireland's captain Rory Best celebrates victory over Australia at the Aviva Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. PA
Ireland's captain Rory Best celebrates victory over Australia at the Aviva Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. PA
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 26: Paddy Jackson of Ireland and CJ Stander of Ireland celebrate as Referee, Jerome Garces awards Ireland a penalty to finish the game during the international match between Ireland and Australia at the Aviva Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Ireland's captain Rory Best celebrates with his wife Jodie and son Ben after the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
Ireland's players celebrate their win on the pitch after the rugby union test match between Ireland and Australia at the Aviva stadium in Dublin on November 26, 2016. Ireland won the game 27-24. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
Ireland's Jack McGrath celebrates with teammates after the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
Ireland's captain Rory Best with his family after the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
Ireland's Tadhg Furlong after the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
Ireland's Simon Zebo and Conor Murray celebrate after the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
Ireland's Simon Zebo and Keith Earls celebrate after the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
Ireland's captain Rory Best celebrates with teammates after the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
Ireland's Keith Earls (left) and Conor Murray celebrate after the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
Ireland's captain Rory Best celebrates with teammates after the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
Ireland's players celebrate their win on the pitch after the rugby union test match between Ireland and Australia at the Aviva stadium in Dublin on November 26, 2016. Ireland won the game 27-24. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
Ireland's Devin Toner celebrates with teammates after the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
Ireland's captain Rory Best celebrates with his wife Jodie, sons Ritchie and Ben after the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
Ireland's captain Rory Best applauds the fans after the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
Ireland's captain Rory Best (centre) talks to his team-mates during a time out in the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire.
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 26: Tevita Kuridrani of Australia celebrates scoreing his side's second try during the international match between Ireland and Australia at the Aviva Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 26: Bernard Foley of Australia kicks a conversion to take the lead during the international match between Ireland and Australia at the Aviva Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Ireland's Keith Earls scores a try during the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
Australia's Sefanaia Naivalu gets past Ireland's Conor Murray on his way to scoring a try during the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
Ireland's CJ Stander and Australia's Lopeti Timani (right) during the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
Fans celebrate after Ireland's Keith Earls scores a try during the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
Ireland's Sean Cronin is tackled by Australia's Reece Hodge during the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
Ireland's Tadhg Furlong is held back by Australia's Israel Folau during the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 26: Dane Haylett-Petty of Australia is tackled by Keith Earls of Ireland during the international match between Ireland and Australia at the Aviva Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 26: Referee, Jerome Garces gestures to Rory Best of Ireland during the international match between Ireland and Australia at the Aviva Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Ireland's Rory Best and Australia's Bernard Foley (right) compete for the ball during the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
Dane Haylett-Petty of Australia skips past Jamie Heaslip of Ireland to score his side's first try during the international match between Ireland and Australia at the Aviva Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 26: Simon Zebo of Ireland is tackled by Henry Speight of Australia during the international match between Ireland and Australia at the Aviva Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 26: Simon Zebo of Ireland is tackled by Henry Speight of Australia during the international match between Ireland and Australia at the Aviva Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 26: Dane Haylett-Petty of Australia dives over to score his side's first try during the international match between Ireland and Australia at the Aviva Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 26: Dane Haylett-Petty of Australia dives over to score his side's first try during the international match between Ireland and Australia at the Aviva Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Australia's flanker Dean Mumm (R) cannot prevent Ireland's centre Garry Ringrose diving over the line to score Ireland's second try during the rugby union test match between Ireland and Australia at the Aviva stadium in Dublin on November 26, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
Australia's Michael Hooper is tackled by Ireland's Jared Payne during the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire.
General view of the action between Ireland and Australia during the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
Ireland's Simon Zebo is tackled by Australia's Bernard Foley during the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
Rory Best of Ireland greets former Ireland player Ronan O'Gara prior to the international match between Ireland and Australia at the Aviva Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 26: A general view of the Australia dressing room prior to the international match between Ireland and Australia at the Aviva Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 26: Bernard Foley of Australia arrives prior to the international match between Ireland and Australia at the Aviva Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
General view of the warm up inside the Aviva Stadium before the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 26: Stephen Moore of Australia shakes hands with Rory Best of Ireland prior to the international match between Ireland and Australia at the Aviva Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Ireland players (from left) Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, Sean Cronin, Rory Best and Conor Murray arrive for the captain's run at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PA
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 25: Stephen Moore of Australia looks on during the Australia Captain's Run on the eve of their international match against Ireland Aviva Stadium on November 25, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 25: Stephen Moore of Australia speaks to the media following the Australia Captain's Run on the eve of their international match against Ireland Aviva Stadium on November 25, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 25: Reece Hodge of Australia practices his kicking during the Australia Captain's Run on the eve of their international match against Ireland Aviva Stadium on November 25, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 25: Dane Haylett-Petty of Australia receives a pass during the Australia Captain's Run on the eve of their international match against Ireland Aviva Stadium on November 25, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 25: Henry Speight of Australia practices his kicking during the Australia Captain's Run on the eve of their international match against Ireland Aviva Stadium on November 25, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 25: David Pocock of Australia claims a high ball during the Australia Captain's Run on the eve of their international match against Ireland Aviva Stadium on November 25, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 25: Bernard Foley of Australia in action during the Australia Captain's Run on the eve of their international match against Ireland Aviva Stadium on November 25, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 25: Bernard Foley of Australia practices his drop kick during the Australia Captain's Run on the eve of their international match against Ireland Aviva Stadium on November 25, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 25: Rory Arnold arrives prior to the Australia Captain's Run on the eve of their international match against Ireland at Aviva Stadium on November 25, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 25: David Pocock collides with a post as he catches the ball during the Australia Captain's Run on the eve of their international match against Ireland at Aviva Stadium on November 25, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 25: Players and coaching staff pose prior to the Australia Captain's Run on the eve of their international match against Ireland at Aviva Stadium on November 25, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 25: Bernard Foley (L) and Stephen Moore look on during the Australia Captain's Run on the eve of their international match against Ireland at Aviva Stadium on November 25, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 25: James Slipper evades team mate Sekope Kepu during the Australia Captain's Run on the eve of their international match against Ireland at Aviva Stadium on November 25, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 25: Quade Cooper in action during the Australia Captain's Run on the eve of their international match against Ireland at Aviva Stadium on November 25, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 25: Dean Mumm (R) walks onto the pitch with team mates during the Australia Captain's Run on the eve of their international match against Ireland at Aviva Stadium on November 25, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 25: Bernard Foley (L) and Stephen Moore look on during the Australia Captain's Run on the eve of their international match against Ireland at Aviva Stadium on November 25, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 24: Sekope Kepu of Australia looks for a pass during an Australia training session at the RDS Arena on November 24, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 24: Will Genia of Australia looks for a pass during an Australia training session at the RDS Arena on November 24, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 24: Rory Arnold of Australia releases a pass during an Australia training session at the RDS Arena on November 24, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 24: Bernard Foley of Australia looks for a pass during an Australia training session at the RDS Arena on November 24, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 24: Michael Hooper of Australia hands off Silatolu Latu of Australia during an Australia training session at the RDS Arena on November 24, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Ireland have claimed a famous triple crown of Southern Hemisphere scalps in the most unlikely of circumstances.

Despite losing three of their starting backs to injury and a 17-point 39th minute lead, Keith Earls’ try secured a famous win for Joe Schmidt’s side.

Ireland are the first team to beat New Zealand, South African and the Wallabies in the same calendar year since Clive Woodward’s World Cup winning England team in 2003.

 

That side learned how to manage adversity and Schmidt’s callow charges showed bags of courage in digging deep to overcome adversity.

Already without Sean O’Brien, injuries to Rob Kearney, Andrew Trimble and Jared Payne forced Schmidt into a situation where he had Joey Carbery at full-back, Earls in the centre and Kieran Marmion on the wing for the entire second-half.

More: Ireland 27 - 24 Australia: They ran out of players but not spirit - Five talking points from Ireland's big win over Australia

The Wallabies, who were denied possession and territory in a torrid first-half, opened up and at the hour-mark they took the lead.

But, as the game looked to get away from them, Ireland’s new leaders emerged with CJ Stander, Josh van der Flier, Tadhg Furlong and Garry Ringrose in particular stood tall.

Ireland's captain Rory Best celebrates with his wife Jodie and son Ben after the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
Ireland's captain Rory Best celebrates with his wife Jodie and son Ben after the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
CJ Stander was one of Ireland's outstanding performers
Ireland's Devin Toner celebrates with teammates after the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
Ireland's captain Rory Best celebrates with his wife Jodie, sons Ritchie and Ben after the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
Ireland's captain Rory Best with his family after the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
Ireland's Tadhg Furlong after the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
Ireland's Simon Zebo and Conor Murray celebrate after the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
Ireland's captain Rory Best celebrates with teammates after the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission

The Leinster centre was exceptional, scoring his first Test try and making some huge defensive interventions.

Ireland captain Rory Best celebrated his 100th cap with a famous win.

"The crowd gave us an incredible lift, this is a great bunch of boys. We had changes before the game, early changes in the game and everyone dug deep," an emotional Best said.

"I can't take my hat off enough to the boys. It's a special day. Australia were in flying form, we're very happy.

"It's been quite a 12 months since the World Cup. I'll not take the credit, the coaching staff from Joe down helps us but some young guys stepped up and there's a very bright future for Irish rugby."

O’Brien’s absence with a hip-flexor injury was confirmed an hour and a half before kick-off, but thankfully for Ireland it wasn’t a double-blow as Jared Payne was fit enough to start.

Ireland got the chance to start on the front-foot as Reece Hodge went off his feet as Australia tried to engineer their exit and Paddy Jackson kicked to touch and they attacked impressively through a series of phases and forced another penalty after hogging the ball which the out-half stuck in the corner.

Dean Mumm got up in front of Devin Toner and picked Best’s throw off and the failings from the All Blacks defeat reared their head once again.

Iain Henderson won one back for Ireland, but again Ireland’s attack was a little loose and Conor Murray kicked the ball dead when trying to set Keith Earls up.

The familiarities with last week continued as Kearney was forced off with a head injury, but Jackson finally got his side on the board with a long-range penalty after Stephen Moore was penalised for not rolling away.

Ireland had plenty of width in their attack and Payne was heavily involved as they tested the Wallabies in ball-in-hand, but their good play came undone through good Australian scrambling after Simon Zebo made a fine break, or some loose passing after a fine Jackson run.

Like New Zealand, Australia were getting on the wrong side of the referee and Jerome Garces ordered Dean Mumm off for 10 minutes for tipping Furlong at a ruck. He, and his colleague Rob Simmons whose hands were dangerously close to the Ireland player’s eye area, could count themselves lucky.

The home side struck instantly from the resultant lineout through Iain Henderson who was in the right place to receive Earls’ pop pass after the Munsterman ran on to a delicious Zebo chip through.

Jackson converted and, although they lost Andrew Trimble to an ankle injury, the Irish dominance continued and their powerful scrum earned more field position.

Although Ireland’s first attack ran aground, more ill-discipline from Moore saw them handed another chance from 5m and Garry Ringrose got his first try for his country as he picked up a loose Murray pass and availed of some clever blocking from Devin Toner on Arnold to touch down.

Ireland's captain Rory Best with his family after the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
Ireland's captain Rory Best with his family after the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
Ireland's Tadhg Furlong after the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
Australia's Sefanaia Naivalu gets past Ireland's Conor Murray on his way to scoring a try during the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
Ireland's Keith Earls scores a try during the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission
DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 26: Tevita Kuridrani of Australia celebrates scoreing his side's second try during the international match between Ireland and Australia at the Aviva Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Ireland's Simon Zebo and Conor Murray celebrate after the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2016. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission

Having survived on scraps for most of the half, Australia finally got some oxygen from their scrum and attacked up the left through Dane Haylett-Petty who chipped inside for Reece Hodge. He attempted to pop the ball up for an onrushing team-mate, but Ringrose got himself in the way and Ireland survived.

They finally got on the board on the stroke of half-time with a trade-mark set-play, punishing an awful Jackson kick to touch.

Clever lines of running freed Michael Hooper up the middle, he off-loaded to Folau and the brilliant full-back sent Haylett-Petty over and Foley converted to close the half-time gap to 17-7.

Having lost Kearney and Trimble, Payne followed at half-time and Ireland had to completely refigure their backline with scrum-half Kieran Marmion on the wing.

Australia almost profited straight away but Henry Speight was called back for a David Pocock forward-pass, but the signs were ominous.

The complexion of the game had changed utterly and the visitors were on the front-foot forcing Ireland to make tackle after tackle before Tevita Kuridrani touched down on Marmion’s wing to narrow the gap to five.

Foley converted to close it further, but Earls forced Australia to mess up the restart and Kane Douglas came in from the side after good work from Marmion and Tadhg Furlong to hand Jackson a chance to settle things from the tee.

A pulsating game almost swung again on an intelligent piece of play from Pocock who flummoxed Murray and the local crowd by exploiting the lack of a ruck to race into what looked like an offside position and take the Ireland scrum-half’s pass. However, his team-mates couldn’t exploit the advantage and Ireland escaped.

It wouldn’t last for long as the home side’s poor kicking failed to get them out of their own half and the increasingly potent Wallaby backline was only too happy to tear them asunder as Sefanaia Naivalu stepped inside Joey Carbery to score.

Foley’s conversion edged the visitors in front and there looked to be only one winner from there.

The out-half added a penalty, but Ireland finally got some possession and field-position from the re-start and a high Mumm tackle on Ringrose handed them a chance to attack from with the ’22.

The maul came up short, but Ireland kept the faith and went through their phases with Furlong, Stander and Peter O’Mahony all carrying hard. It looked like the chance had passed when Jackson chose a short ball off when the wide pass was on, but from the next phase Zebo found Earls and he touched down to put his side in front again.

Jackson nailed the touch-line conversion and back came Australia who again looked to Marmion’s wing, but couldn’t score when Kuridrani’s couldn’t connect to Hodge with the final pass.

The big Fijian centre was causing all sorts of problems, but a brilliant choke-tackle from Ringrose, Ultan Dillane and Josh van der Flier forced a pivotal turnover as Ireland clung on to their three-point lead.

The scrum creaked, but CJ Stander made what felt like his 100th carry, Sean McMahon failed to roll away and Jackson could relieve the pressure as the end-game approached.

It was reminiscent of 2014 as Cheika’s men surged forward in search of the winning score. Ringrose made a huge hit, Carbery took a high ball under pressure from Folau, Sean Cronin nailed three pressure-throws and Finlay Bealham won a crucial turnover.

New leaders everywhere.

In the end, Foley tipped Toner beyond the horizontal and Jackson could kick to the corner.

Cronin’s throw to the tail stuck, Ireland tried to maul the clock down but the Australians forced one last scrum.

TEAMS

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)

Irish Independent

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