Lynagh understands Wallabies opportunity

by Staff Writer

Former Wallabies fly half Michael Lynagh is one of the few who understands intimately the opportunity the Wallabies have to play in a World Cup semi-final this weekend.

Monday marked 24 years to the days since the Wallabies’ 1991 quarter-final against Ireland.

With seven minutes left in the knock out match, Ireland flanker Gordon Hamilton scored to take the lead for the first time in the game.

A Wallabies line out was taken by John Eales and Lynagh jumped on the opportunity to score a try and snatch a semi-final berth in the second World Cup.

Australia went on to win that World Cup, their first William Webb Ellis Trophy, beating New Zealand and then England in their final two matches, after scraping into the final four.

Lynagh said that match was the making of the 1991 team in a tournament situation where the quarter-finals can prove the most dangerous meetings.

“Quarter-finals are always a very difficult game to get through, particularly as this Australian team had a particularly tough group.

“You go up against Wales and England, they’re knockout games in the group and all of a sudden everyone’s telling you you’re going to win against Scotland and it comes very close.

“I think that was the making of the team in 91, when we went on to beat New Zealand and England in the final.”

Lynagh said the Wallabies would face a tough clash with Argentina, who have benefitted from their improvement in the Rugby Championship.

“We (Australia) know a lot about them from the Rugby Championship and traditionally they’ve been very strong in the forwards, that’s what they pride themselves on,” he said.

“But they’ve suddenly got a back line that is very quick and very skillful.

“We’ll be under no illusions that this semi-final is going to be a tough one.”

The Wallabies face Argentina on Monday morning, 3am AEDT.

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