Wallabies coach ewen McKenzie expressed a small hint of sympathy for his opposite number Joe Schmidt after Ireland’s 32 – 15 home defeat to Australia.
The southern hemisphere side ran in four tries and only looked close to conceding one as the game drew to a close with only 14 gold shirts left on the field.
Limiting Ireland to so few opportunities came as no surprise to McKenzie:
“We did our homework on what we had to work with,” McKenzie said. “We knew what they did in the Six Nations and obviously had a good look at what they did against Samoa.
“They’ve only been together briefly under the current regime and, as we know ourselves, it’s hard to put a lot together in a short space of time.
“There is a fair Leinster component there, but we did our homework and it was a matter of what they brought forward from the last game and what we could extrapolate from that.”
Midweek, McKenzie had highlighted Ireland’s choke tackle as a key area to be negated. That task was completed effectively and Australia’s breakdown dominance was driven home by the deserved man-of-the-match award given to openside Michael Hooper who also claimed two tries at crucial times.
“We knew they had key ingredients to their game,” added the former Queensland Reds coach.
“We knew the choke tackle was important, so we concentrated on that. We knew with John Plumtree there the maul would be more important than usual – he coaches that pretty well – and we knew there is creativity in the backline.
“So we worked hard on all those elements, making sure to nullify the strengths of their game and then we still wanted to express ourselves and [show] how we’ve been developing and I think we got the two right.
“It got a bit ropey there at times. We probably spent 20 minutes there with one man short and were still able to defend the line so we’re pretty pleased.”
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