Ireland win thriller against Australia to level series
Ireland have beaten Australia 26-21 to level their summer Test series at 1-1.
The boot of Johnny Sexton was key for the Irish, who recovered from an early try before leading for most of the match.
Kurtley Beale was the man who put Australia ahead after just a minute when he broke through the defence after receiving the ball from Bernard Foley.
Marika Koroibete was sent to the sin-bin for a dangerous tackle and Ireland took full advantage. From the penalty, Ireland kicked for touch before a rolling maul took the ball into the Australian 22. Conor Murray then found Andrew Conway to score in the corner.
A trio of penalties put Ireland into a nine-point lead inside the opening 22 minutes but Australia hit back with a penalty try. Ireland were being forced further towards the try-line from the maul and were penalised for collapsing the maul illegally to give Australia the seven points.
Jack McGrath thought he had restored the nine-point margin in the 51st minute when he stretched over from a metre out, but he was penalised for a double movement and the score stayed at 16-14.
Another disallowed try followed, this time for Keith Earls. He slipped through a tackle before finding the line but the referee went to the TMO who deemed that the ball was not grounded properly.
Ireland did get another try with their next attack though. Tadhg Furlong powered over the line after intense Irish pressure and Sexton added the extras.
Sexton’s fourth penalty of the match gave Ireland a 12-point cushion with 13 minutes remaining.
Taniela Tupou went over to pull a try back but time ran down on Australia.
The teams will meet in Sydney next week in the series decider.
Earlier in the day, New Zealand defeated France 26-13 and Italy beat Japan 25-22.