Rugby World Cup: Aussie media slam 'Paddy-whacking'

By Christopher Chang

Tom Court (C) of Ireland celebrates victory with team mates. Photo / Getty Images
Tom Court (C) of Ireland celebrates victory with team mates. Photo / Getty Images

The Australian media has lashed out at the Wallabies following their shock 15-6 defeat to Ireland in the Pool C Rugby World Cup match at Eden Park last night.

The Wallabies were "Paddy-whacked" in a match where Robbie Deans' side were "dominated tactically and physically", according to The Herald Sun's Jim Tucker.

Ireland's Sean O'Brien "seemed to make more running metres than the entire Australian backrow" and the Wallabies failed to learn their lessons from the first Bledisloe Cup match this year, he added.

Greg Growden of the Sydney Morning Herald responded to captain James Horwill's admission that the Wallabies had played "dumb rugby":

"It wasn't some dumb footy, it was completely dumb footy. For being so dumb, they should be forced to wear World Cup dunces hats for at least the next week," Growden wrote.

The Wallabies shot themselves in the foot with a "deplorable performance", he wrote, but some credit was given to the battling Irish.

"You had to admire Ireland's courage, endeavour and smart game plan, but it was more that the Wallabies were appalling."

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The Australian's Wayne Smith suggested the Wallabies' downfall was aided by Ireland's 'management' of referee Bryce Lawrence.

"James O'Connor landed only two goals from four attempts in the first half, the first of them coming just 10 minutes into the match where the Irish scrum deliberately conceded a penalty from a scrum straight in front of their own posts rather than risk conceding a try," he wrote.

"It was a strategy they were to employ throughout the night, and not just at scrum time, and the Australians were barely able to contain their frustration at times.

"But not for the first time in this tournament they were given a lesson in how to manage the referee."

Irish reaction to the match was predictably complimentary, as Gerry Thornley of the Irish Times lauded the immense effort of the Irish pack in the scrums and at the breakdown.

There was no doubt who the majority of the 58,678-strong crowd was backing last night at Eden Park.

"This was better than Dublin, as a small part of New Zealand became Irish for the night and witnessed the single best performance and result of Ireland's unfulfilling World Cup campaigns," he wrote.

He said Australia's World Cup campaign isn't quite in tatters, but damaged nonetheless.

"Topping the pool, seen as pre-ordained by their media since the draw was made, and having an 'easier' run to the final is now a forlorn hope."

The Guardian's Brendan Fanning pinpointed the arrival of Ronan O'Gara in the third quarter as making a huge difference to the Irish.

While the famous victory for the Irish could help them navigate a more straightforward route, Fanning pointed out the effect of the Australians is "exactly the oppoite".

He said the "quality of the tackling and ball carrying was first class" from Ireland while the Wallabies "got it wrong tactically".

The Irish Independent News' Duncan Bech said Ireland "defied all expectations by summoning a performance of controlled ferocity to stun Australia".

Ireland play Russia next, while the Wallabies will get the chance to make amends against USA on Friday.

- Herald Online

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