He said: "It was such a disappointing final game on tour against the Australians. We had suffered the disappointment of failing to beat New Zealand twice, and that's hard enough to bounce back from. Everyone's human and maybe we were thinking about that, but in fairness to Australia, they played well and you can't take anything away from them.
"They got scores at crucial times but we battled hard and scored one of our best tries (from Neil Best) in a good while. You just have to be critical of yourself, and ask yourself why we didn't get results out there."
Gordon D'Arcy was certainly magic against South Africa, claiming the Guinness man-of-the-match award, but was he this good? The Leinster centre shows off his levitation skills at training. Chances are he will not need them to stand head and shoulders above the Australian centre pairing of Lote Tuqiri and Stirling Mortlock this weekend.
Neil Best has also been hitting the heights for Ireland ever since making his debut in last season's Autumn internationals. David Wallace, Best's colleague in the Irish back row, did not read much into Australia's erratic performance in their 25-18 win over Italy last Saturday.
The Munster flanker said: "Australia are a strong team and, while they didn't win as well as they would have liked to against Italy, I'm sure they will bounce back.
"Certainly going on the game we played against them at the end of last season, it was close up to a point but then the final score (37-15) wasn't flattering to us. They obviously have a fantastic back line and a strong pack as well."
Munster back rower Denis Leamy wants Ireland to use the experience of that tour defeat to the Wallabies and the momentum secured against South Africa to post up their second big win in the space of eight days.
He said: "We're looking forward to getting stuck into Australia. We did a 60-minute job on them in the summer. We had the opportunities to close out that game but didn't take them. Australia are a quality side and it's important that we beat them because all the good work last weekend will go down the drain if we don't.
"We must build on our win against South Africa and prove it wasn't a one-off. We have the confidence and we know we have the ability to beat the Southern Hemisphere sides on a consistent basis."
Ronan O'Gara, the twelfth Irishman to reach 60 Test caps, has amassed a total of 45 points (1 try, 2 conversions and 12 penalties) in five appearances against Australia.
Paddy Wallace became the eighth Ulster player to be capped for Ireland in the last 17 months when he came on as a replacement against South Africa last Saturday. He was following in the footsteps of Neil Best, Rory Best, Isaac Boss, Kieran Campbell, Matt McCullough, Andrew Trimble and Roger Wilson, who all made their debuts between the 2005 and 2006 summer tours.
Ulster scrum half Isaac Boss should make his first start for Ireland over the course of the next week-and-a-half. He has had limited game-time so far as a replacement against New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.
Neil Best and Isaac Boss could be part of a select band of players if Ireland see off the Wallabies at Lansdowne Road on Sunday. Ireland's only previous back-to-back wins against Tri-Nations opposition happened way back in 1965-67 when both South Africa and Australia succumbed to the men in green.
Four matches in the then Five Nations championship sandwiched those fixtures which were a total of 19 months apart.
**All photos by Billy Stickland of Inpho Photography**
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