18 May, 11:09
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne has issued a statement following confirmation of Ronan O'Gara's decision to retire from playing professional rugby.
...Australian coach John Connolly with his attack coach Scott Johnson...
See below for quotes from Australian coach John Connolly, tour captain Stirling Mortlock and rested skipper George Gregan after the Wallabies' 21-6 defeat at the hands of Ireland at Lansdowne Road.
- ON THE IRISH TEAM -
"I guess 6-3 (in the second half) isn't too bad. However the Irish were outstanding in the first half and handled the conditions really well. The damage was done in the first half and the try (from Geordan Murphy) at the end of it knocked the stuffing out of us.
"Ireland showed they were a world class team, in particular in these sort of weather conditions.
"We had the wind in the first half and played poorly with it. Ireland held the ball, waited for penalties and just controlled the game. They were incredibly patient and had a lot of composure.
"They're a great team with a massive work rate and we saw that in the Southern Hemisphere in June. They're on song at the moment too - we knew that before the game.
"They're just all so good at playing the conditions and we couldn't match them. O'Gara, O'Driscoll and D'Arcy knew how to play the weather.
"The Irish were more clinical and showed a lot of composure. They showed how to play with the wind against them and we just couldn't get the ball off them. I was more pleased obviously with the second half but the damage had been done."
- ON REFEREE MARIUS JONKER -
"I don't think the referee was to blame. In fact he had a very good game but I could have done without being 14-13 down in terms of players when you are trying to chase a game.
"Still I couldn't even win that one either - it was 2-1 to us in terms of yellow cards, 2-2 would have been fairer."
- ON THE IRISH TEAM -
"They were pretty tough conditions to play in but Ireland played better. They are a formidable team. They pushed us hard in Perth earlier this year and also the All Blacks on the same tour. They have a good lineout and their backs are very useful.
"O'Gara steers their team around well and their midfield pairing is excellent. They're just a very formidable team.
"They defended very well, but in saying that, I don't think we got too much possession. The most possession we had came when we had two guys in the sin bin. Ireland's ability to maintain possession and dominate territory in the first half was what we wanted to do in the second half but unfortunately we just couldn't do that."
- ON AUSTRALIA'S YELLOW CARDS -
"Test match footy sometimes, especially in these conditions, is ugly and it's pretty physical. We're certainly, as a team, trying to be physical and aggressive but, at the same time, we don't want to lose our discipline.
"It's something we've got to look at and review. It's a matter of having the right level head to be aggressive yet not ill-disciplined."
- ON LOSING TO IRELAND -
"If you're just a little bit off it gets exacerbated when you're playing quality teams like Ireland. Catching, passing, it could be tackling, it could be set pieces, it's a variety of things that make up a team performance.
"It was one of those days at Lansdowne Road where there's just that gale fore wind blowing down one end of the field, and it was wet and windy and they adapted much better than we did. They played like they had the wind at their backs so a very impressive effort from Ireland but you know it's something that we'll put into the learning experience for the Wallabies."
- ON MATT GITEAU'S PERFORMANCES AT NUMBER 9 -
"Matt's done really, really well there. He's got a history of playing that position, and he's just a really world class player, he's played 10 and 10 and then gone to nine, so they're totally different skill sets and he's adapted really well.
"It's a positive for the squad looking towards next year because there's a guy who can cover a lot of positions and play them at a really high level."