unbeaten | 

Bundee Aki’s verdict as Ireland beat Australia in Dublin

It was a dogged game of rugby that was settled by a late Ross Byrne penalty with five minutes left on the clock.

Ireland's Ross Byrne celebrates after kicking a late penalty to win the game during the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. Picture date: Saturday November 19, 2022.© PA

Dylan O’ConnellIndependent.ie

Ireland dug deep to beat Australia 13-10 at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday night and finish the autumn internationals unbeaten.

It was a dogged game of rugby that was settled by a late Ross Byrne penalty with five minutes left on the clock.

Australia had one last throw of the dice by kicking to the corner, and this backfired when they were penalised for an offside.

Andy Farrell’s team ended the night, and year, by adding Australia to the list of conquered nations by Ireland this year.

The victory follows victories over world champions South Africa and Fiji this autumn, and a first ever series win in New Zealand last summer.

“We obviously didn’t think about the clean sweep I think we just wanted a performance that we were proud of,” try scorer Bundee Aki said.

“But tonight was a proper, proper test match. We’re obviously not happy with how we played but big credit goes back to Australia. They’ve been playing unbelievable well and they’ve been unlucky in some of their games. Fair play to the boys for standing up right to the end.”

It was a tense game that saw Ireland lead 3-0 at the break thanks to a Jack Crowley penalty.

After Bernard Foley tied things up, Ireland pushed up and Bundee Aki leapt over the goal-line for the first try.

It was a low scoring that was dominated by a technical and well drilled Wallabies team.

“They worked unbelievably hard. You can see it, right to the end, they were fighting for the last try and they wanted to win. That’s just their game. They fight to the end,” he added.

“Once we saw them, we knew that they would come hard and they won’t go away until the 80th minute. That is exactly what we got.”

At one point, Australia went 21 phases deep into the Irish half and they finished this spell scoreless thanks to a combined effort by the team and supporters.

“The crowd is a big part of our team and to be able to have a crowd like that, especially when we’re defending for such a long period of time,” Bundee Aki explained.

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