Wallabies beat Ireland by one point - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallabies beat Ireland by one point

By Melissa Woods 02/11/2003 05:13:01 AM Comments (0)

The Wallabies dodged a World Cup bullet when they escaped with a heart-stopping 17-16 win over Ireland at Melbourne's Telstra Dome.

Australia could have faced a quarter-final showdown with big gun France if a 75th minute drop goal attempt by Ireland's David Humphreys found its target.

Instead the Wallabies travel to Brisbane to take on under-performing Scotland next Saturday while Ireland and France meet next Sunday.

The match was reminiscent of their 1991 World Cup quarter-final clash in Dublin which Australia won in the dying moments 19-18.

Making only two line-breaks and scoring only one try, to tireless flanker George Smith, the Wallabies were forced to rely on their defence to clinch top spot in the pool.

They trailed in territory (45 per cent) and possession (47 per cent), turned over the ball 15 times, while their line-out was a shambles, losing five throws.

Australian coach Eddie Jones said the win was significant, because over the past 18 months, the Wallabies have lost tight matches.

"Tonight we hung in there and really gutsed it out, and ground out a win," Jones said.

"I thought Ireland played very well, we've certainly got some work to do but I thought it was a pretty positive display under the circumstances."

Australia's only try came in the 12th minute after five-eighth Stephen Larkham spotted a massive overlap in the backline and sent the ball along to winger Joe Roff, who gifted Smith with the try.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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