Farrell hails Byrne's patience after late penalty snatches win over Australia

Ireland's Ross Byrne celebrates after kicking a late penalty to win the game during the Autumn International match at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland Picture: Brian Lawless/PA
Paul McIntyre at the Aviva Stadium

Autumn Nations Series: Ireland 13 Australia 10

ROSS Byrne's penalty with just three minutes remaining helped clinch a three-point win for Ireland against Australia on Saturday night.

Byrne who wasn't named in the original matchday squad stepped up to coolly slot over a penalty from the right wing after Australia were penalised for some illegal scrummaging.

It capped off a remarkable week for Byrne who only joined up with the squad last Monday as he marked his first appearance in a green jersey since March 2021 in the best way possible.

"It is awesome for him, I was absolutely delighted for him," said head coach Andy Farrell on Byrne's winning strike.

"Ross's temperament is made for that type of situation where it is gridlocked and it was a tough enough kick when the penalty came but there was no doubt in Ross' mind that he was ever going to do anything but go for the three points so fair play to him.

"He has waited for that chance and he delivered it and it got us over the line."

Byrne's match winning appearance came about when Johnny Sexton pulled up with a calf injury at the start of the warm up.

Sexton's place went to Munster rookie Jack Crowley.

Crowley in his first start and only his second appearance showed no signs of nerves as he helped see Ireland what turned out to be a nerve gangling test match.

That was in no small part to what Australia brought to the table.

The visitors threw everything they had at their hosts but time and time again Ireland dug in to deny Dave Rennie's side.

Dominating possession and territory, the teams turned around at the break with just one score between them – a tenth minute Crowley penalty.

Bundee Aki's try put a little bit of daylight between the sides in the 67th minute but Australia replied with a try of their own just three minutes later through Jordan Petaia.

Bernard Foley's conversion levelled the game at 10-10 before Byrne popped up with the match winning score.

"We can pull it apart and we will do and we will learn from all sorts of aspects of the game but the bigger picture stuff for me is that Australia made it an absolute dogfight and fair play to them.

"I thought the way they went about their game was abrasive, to say the least, and certainly at the breakdown. They had the courage to shift the ball, like we knew they would, and they were dangerous with their outside backs.

"But for us to back up a few ill-disciplined bits and a few errors technically, tactically and still find a way is a hallmark of a good side.

"And that's what all good sides do, they always find a way in the heat of the battle and we are delighted in that regard with the win."

Farrell confirmed that it was a calf injury that forced him into a late reshuffle of his half-back pairing.

"He (Sexton) went out to do some kicking before the warm up and he felt his calf and unfortunately for him he tried his best to get right, but the right choice was not to play.

"It was great for us in so many ways for Jack to get the start.

"Because it wasn't just to see how Jack would handle that type of situation but how we handled it as a group to help Jack out and I thought the kid stood up tall."

Australia rallied in the closing minutes after Byrne's penalty but again ill-discipline in the red zone was to cost them dear and Ireland held on to see the year out on a high.

Teams & Scorers:

Ireland: H Keenan, M Hansen, G Ringrose, S McCloskey, J O'Brien, J Crowley, J Gibson Park, A Porter, D Sheehan, T Furlong, T Beirne, J Ryan, P O'Mahony, J Van Der Flier, C Doris.

Replacements: J Conan for O'Mahony (50), B Aki for McCloskey (54), J McCarthy for Beirne (60), F Bealham for Furlong (63), C Casey for Gibson Park (63), C Healy for Porter (70), R Herring for Sheehan (70), R Byrne for Crowley (70).

Tries: Aki (67),

Conversions: Crowley (67)

Penalties: Crowley (10), Byrne (76)

Australia: A Kellaway, M Nawaqanitawase, L Ikitau, H Paisami, T Wright, B Foley, N White, J Slipper, D Porecki, A Alaalatoa, N Frost, C Neville, J Holloway, M Hooper, R Valetini.

Replacements: J Petaia for H Paisami (4), F Fainga'a for Porecki (24), P Samu for Valtinin (49), T Tupou for Alaalatoa (53), W Skelton for Neville (53), Alaalatoa for Tupou (Inj) (54), J Gordon for Kellaway (60), T Roberston for Slipper (77)

Tries: Petaia (70)

Conversion: Foley (70)

Penalties: Foley (55)

Yellow Card: Fainga'a (37)

Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (NZRU)