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Ireland vs Australia
Spring Tour Test
|Aviva Stadium, Dublin|
Australia’s Grand Slam hopes have been snuffed out by a strong Irish side. The Irish dominated the first half before letting the lead slip in the second, only to storm home and win by 3 points.
All the wash-up from Ireland vs Wallabies:
» LORD: Grand Slam gone, Mumm must follow
» Match report: Ireland victorious, 27-24
» Five talking points from the match
» What changes should Australia make for England
» Vote on our DIY player ratings
» WATCH all the highlights from the match
This Sunday morning game sees Australia travelling to Dublin to play Ireland. Join The Roar from 4:30am (AEDT) for all the live action as the Wallabies look to take another step on the road to a second Grand Slam.
Coach Michael Cheika raised a few eyebrows with his starting selection, dropping the in-form Lopeti Timani in favour of starting Dean Mumm at blindside, shifting David Pocock to No.8 in the process, a move many fans have expressed concern over.
Cheika’s reasoning was the theory that the Wallaby lineout needed strengthening against a quality Irish outfit, knowingly reducing the potential ball carrying ability in close.
It would seem Cheika predicts this area to be an important one and suggests the Wallabies intent to attack from first phase while backing their defence and speed in the loose and perhaps a greater kicking game will be employed.
Timani has been named on the nine-man bench and we wait to see if he will survive the final cut in what is otherwise a fairly predictable Wallaby line up.
The hosts Ireland have had to make several changes to their starting line-up from their previous outing, injury the main culprit as Johnny Sexton, Robbie Henshaw and Donnacha Ryan are out of the starting side while winger Simon Zebo takes a spot on the bench with Paddy Jackson, Garry Ringrose and Iain Henderson promoted to the starting side, Keth Earls taking Zebos wing.
On the bench, Ultan Dillane comes in at lock while Joey Carbery covers first five, rounding out the changes from last week.
It is not hard to imagine Coach Joe Schimdt will have his troops employ much the same game plan as they did against the All Blacks, dominate possession and the ruck while seeking greater accuracy on attack, converting field and possession dominance into points, an area they could not get quite right last week.
Two players to keep an eye on will be the sides’ competing loose forwards, Sean O’Brien and David Pocock, arguably the two best opensides in World Rugby with both players currently in outstanding form for their respective sides and their influence at the breakdown shapes as a crucial element to their respective sides chances this morning.
Another key head-to-head likely to have a major bearing on the outcome of this match will be at halfback with the two experienced and in-form players, Connor Murray and Will Genia, looking to drive their sides around and will be influential in implementing their sides tactics.
Join us live here on The Roar as we cover all the action from 4:30am and do not forget to utilise the comments section below to leave your thoughts as the match unfolds.
Tip – Wallabies by three. Nothing more than a gut feeling.