...Australian coach John Connolly with his attack coach Scott Johnson...
Seebelow for quotes from Australian coach John Connolly, tour captainStirling Mortlock and rested skipper George Gregan after the Wallabies' 21-6 defeat at the hands ofIreland at Lansdowne Road.
- ON THE IRISH TEAM -
"Iguess 6-3 (in the second half) isn't too bad. However the Irish wereoutstanding 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 thegame. 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 theSouthern Hemisphere in June. They're on song at the moment too - weknew 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. Theyshowed how to play with the wind against them and we just couldn't getthe ball off them. I was more pleased obviously with the second halfbut 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 -
"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 wegot too much possession. The most possession we had came when we hadtwo guys in the sin bin. Ireland's ability to maintain possession anddominate territory in the first half was what we wanted to do in thesecond half but unfortunately we just couldn't do that."
- ON AUSTRALIA'S YELLOW CARDS -
"Testmatch footy sometimes, especially in these conditions, is ugly and it'spretty physical. We're certainly, as a team, trying to be physical andaggressive 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 ofhaving 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 thatgale fore wind blowing down one end of the field, and it was wet andwindy and they adapted much better than we did. They played like theyhad the wind at their backs so a very impressive effort from Irelandbut you know it's something that we'll put into the learning experiencefor the Wallabies."
- ON MATT GITEAU'S PERFORMANCES AT NUMBER 9 -
"Matt'sdone really, really well there. He's got a history of playing thatposition, and he's just a really world class player, he's played 10 and10 and then gone to nine, so they're totally different skill sets andhe's adapted really well.
"It's a positive for the squad looking towards next year becausethere's a guy who can cover a lot of positions and play them at areally high level."