Fear factor driving Ireland in decider

by Sam Phillips

Fear of failure is as good a motivation element as any and Ireland captain Peter O'Mahony admits there is "fear factor" driving the tourists' quest for an historic June series win.

The fear factor O'Mahony speaks of is driven by a world class Wallabies attack, which produced three tries with just 40 percent of the ball in Melbourne and crossed twice with the same amount of pill in Brisbane.

Any loose turnovers or ill advised kicks will likely be punished by a potent Australian attack and at Friday's captain's run, the Ireland skipper admitted a 40 point blitz could be on the cards should the tourists stray from the structures which guided them to an undefeated Six Nations campaign.

"If we don't put on a good performance tomorrow we could be well beaten by 30, 40 points," O'Mahony said.

"There is that fear factor for us that if we aren't good tomorrow, they could put a lot of points on us.O'Mahony will skipper the Irish in his 50th Test. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley"They had 30, 35 percent possession and scored three tries - that's a stat that is very impressive.

"They are dangerous with the ball and as a result our defence certainly needs to step up a notch."

O'Mahony pointed to a potential series win as an achievement which would rank alongside the Six Nations triumph, an indication of the respect the tourists hold for their opponent.

"I think 1979 was the last time we won a Test here so I think that says enough, really, about how hard it is to win over here," he said.

"To talk about winning a series over here is up there with one of the biggest challenges in world rugby.

"Australia's record at home is incredible and a team of their calibre - we have no doubt this performance will be one of the best they put in all year.David Pocock will lead the Wallabies' breakdown charge on Saturday. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley"We have to match that and go beyond if we want to get a win tomorrow."

On the topic of going above and beyond, the team which does exactly that will likely be the same side which drinks from the Lansdowne Cup.

O'Mahony and Ireland know as much, having dominated the breakdown in their AAMI Park win seven days after David Pocock dragged the Wallabies to victory at Suncorp Stadium with a breakdown masterclass.

"To be fair every rugby game nowadays is won and lost at the ruck," O'Mahony said.

"When you add in David Pocock and Michael Hooper it ramps it up a little bit more.

"The quality and the calibre that they have with guys like (Tolu) Latu and (Brandon) Paenga-Amosa and the amount of guys that they have which have the ability to poach the ball and be really accurate about it, it certainly heightens your senses and tomorrow is going to be no different.

"We know we have to be right on the ball to negate their threat."

The Wallabies take on Ireland in the third June Test at Allianz Stadium on Saturday June 23, kicking off at 8:05pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Channel Ten and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO.