Slimmest of margins the difference in Brisbane: Schmidt

International
by Sam Phillips

The end of Ireland's remarkable 12 game winning streak boiled down to the slimmest of margins, according to coach Joe Schmidt.

While Schmidt said the Wallabies didn't produce anything the Irish weren't expecting, he highlighted a handful of areas in which the home side earned honours and in the end, proved the difference in snapping the streak, which spanned the entirety of the Six Nations.

"I thought they were incredibly physical," Schmidt said post match.

"I thought they persisted with a pretty effective tactic of cross field kicking and having Israel Folau going after them.

"He didn't get them all but he did get a few which allowed them to get in behind us and then we were scrambling a little bit.

"They worked pretty hard at the scrum and got it to turn pretty well.


"Pocock, obviously, put a lot of pressure on and he always makes a big difference to a team.

"Apart from that, as I say, I don't think there was too much between the teams."

Schmidt's stand in captain Peter O'Mahony concurred, pointing to a frantic first half as one of the fastest he has ever featured in.

"That first half was one of the quickest I've played in my career," O'Mahony said.

"Every time we come up against Australia the intensity and physicality is second to none.

"There weren't a lot of people talking about the Australian physicality before the game but you saw how physical they were in the first 10 to 15 minutes."

That physicality and frenetic early line speed troubled rookie flyhalf Joey Carbery, who earned a pass mark from his coach in place of Johnny Sexton.

"I thought he was pretty solid really," Schmidt said.Ireland fans were out in force in Brisbane. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley"He came off the field at 9-8 - that's not a bad return for a young man who is really starting his first big, tier one Test match.

"He'll be disappointed with the goal kick that he missed because it was a reasonably comfortable angle for him and it could have given us a bit more of a comfort zone and applied more pressure on the Wallabies.

"But I thought his tackle quality was good and his distribution was generally good - he put a few guys into a little bit of space

"Missed a couple of passes with pressure and time and certainly, they were giving us as little as possible.

"They were all over us at times and that did make it very hard for us to string things together."

A must win second Test in Melbourne awaits and Schmidt said his side must go to another level to square the series up.

"We just have to dust ourselves off and that's nothing we didn't expect," he said.

"They are an unbelievably athletic and talented team and the last time they played here as I said during the week, they beat the All Blacks.

"That's the level and we have to be able to compete at that level and get the margins to fall our way, albeit they were pretty skinny today."

The Wallabies face Ireland in the second of three June Tests in Melbourne on Saturday, kicking off at 8pm AEST, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS and RUGBY.com.au radio. Buy tickets here.