10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
It will be little consolation to the team their management or supporters, that of the six tries the Wallabies scored, four came directly from Irish mistakes while the penalty try should never has been awarded. In fact the most creative passage of play in the opening half - a period in which Victor Costello was outstanding - resulted in a try for John Kelly in the 28th minute. The move started with an explosive break by Kevin Maggs on the left which was carried on into the Australian 22 by Geordan Murphy. When stopped, Murphy found Kelly in support and when the ball was flashed right Kelly was on hand to loop around and dance past Toutai Kefu for the try and a 10-7 lead. Unfortunately, they handed back the advantage from the kick-off and Elton Flatley made the most of slack Irish defence to skip in for a try that he then converted to restore his side's lead.
Towards the end of the half, Kefu,Toutai was lucky to remain on the field when he cleaved Keith Gleeson and from the resultant penalty, Humphreys made it 14-13.
By the time ten minutes of the second half had elapsed however, the Aussies had stretched into an eleven point lead - a try from Steve Kefu and the additional points from a flawless Flatley.
Ronan O'Gara, who had come on as a half-time replacement for Humphreys, landed a distance penalty to keep Ireland in touch but Gregan scored his side's fourth try when his own chip ahead sat up nicely for him and of course, Flatley added the points.
The Irish might have been forgiven if they had thrown in the towel at that stage - 15 points adrift and the home side seemingly in command - but they came storming back and from a Paul O'Connell line-out take they spread the ball wide and right and looked odds on to score when Girvan Dempsey appeared on the outside with the try line abegging. Somehow, Elton Flatley managed to get across and make the tackle and although Dempsey manged to squirm his way over, referee Nigel Williams adjudged it to be a double motion and awarded a penalty to the defending side.
It was possibly,the defining moment of the game and it certainly allowed the Wallabies off the hook. They benefitted again from an Irish mistake in the 68th minute when Dempsey lost possession in the tackle and Latham ran the length of the field to score under the posts. Another kicked clearance led to the chase downfield that ended with the final try, a penalty try, a score that shouldn't have counted.