Ireland: Andy Farrell admits his side still has work to do going into a World Cup year

Dylan Coetzee

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell claims his team still have a lot to do despite completing a very successful Test season in 2022.

Farrell’s men claimed a narrow 13-10 win over Australia thanks to a late Ross Byrne penalty in the 77th minute, securing a 12th consecutive victory at home.

The hosts lost their captain Johnny Sexton just before kick-off as he pulled up with a calf injury and struggled at times against a Wallabies side that showed much improvement from their first loss to Italy last weekend.

Tight result

Farrell, despite joking about the result, admits his team have a lot of work to do if they are to kick on from a brilliant Test season that saw the side become the first team to beat the All Blacks, Springboks and Wallabies in the same calendar year since England in 2002.

“It was never in doubt,” joked Farrell.

“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 there’s two things that went on there.

“Australia made it an absolute dogfight and fair play to them, they were courageous in how they went about their game. It was abrasive to say the least, certainly at the breakdown.

“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.

“That’s what all good sides do, you always find a way in the heat of the battle and we’re delighted in that regard.”

Jack Crowley stepped into Sexton’s role and played his part before Byrne came on to make the telling contribution.

Impressive composure

Farrell praised Byrne for his composure and execution under pressure in taking the winning kick for Ireland.

“It’s awesome for him,” Farrell said. “I was absolutely delighted for him.

“You know Ross’ temperament, it’s made for him that type of situation where it’s deadlocked.

“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’s waited for that chance and he delivered it and got us over the line.”

READ MORE: Autumn Nations Series: Five takeaways from Ireland v Australia as Wallabies pay the price for missed opportunities