Ireland head coach Andy Farrell says his team still has a lot to do despite completing a very successful test season in 2022.
Farrell’s men cruised to a narrow 13–10 win over Australia thanks to a late Ross Byrne penalty in the 77th minute, securing a 12th successive home win.
The hosts lost their captain, Johnny Sexton, just before kick-off when he stopped with a calf injury and struggled at times against a Wallabies side that had shown vast improvement since their first loss to Italy at the end of last week.
Farrell, despite joking about the result, admits his team have a lot of work to do if they are to start a brilliant Test season in which the team became the first team to beat the All Blacks, Springboks and Wallabies in the same calendar. year from England in 2002.
“It was never in question,” Farrell joked.
“We can and will take it apart and learn from all kinds of aspects of the game. But the big picture for me is that there are two things that happened there.
“Australia made it an absolute dogfight and fair play for them, they were brave in the way they played their game. He was abrasive to say the least, certainly in the breakdown.
“But for us to back up some undisciplined parts and some mistakes technically and tactically and still find a way is a hallmark of a good side.
“That’s what all the good sides do, you always find a way in the heat of battle and we’re delighted in that regard.”
Jack Crowley took over the role of Sexton and played his part before Byrne made the revealing contribution.
Farrell praised Byrne for his composure and execution under pressure in taking the winning shot for Ireland.
“It’s unbelievable for him,” Farrell said. “I was absolutely charmed by him.
“You know Ross’s temperament, it’s made for him in that kind of situation where he’s stuck.
“It was a hard enough kick when the penalty came, but there was no question in Ross’s mind that he would ever do anything other than go for three points, so fair game to him.
“He waited for that opportunity and delivered it and got us over the line.”
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