Australian coach Robbie Deans paid tribute to Ireland’s 15-6 win in Auckland, saying they outplayed his side.
Deans, asked if it was a case of Ireland ‘outpassioning’ his side, said the word was ‘outplayed’.
‘They played more intelligently than us and played in the right areas of the field. They outplayed us. We came here to play rugby and to win and we came second. It really is as simple as that.’
Wallabies captain James Horwill concurred, saying credit had to go to the Irish.
‘They were the better team out there.’
Both Deans and Horwill said the result had changed little for the Australians in the context of the World Cup.
‘If anything, it is a reminder of what this tournament is about and what it will take to win it. We have to focus on our next game and make sure we get to the play-offs. And from there it is a case of winning every game, regardless of who you play,’ said the Wallabies coach.
When asked if Ireland had the team to win the tournament Deans chuckled and said he thought it appropriate he focused on Australia and getting them back in contention.
Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll hailed the victory as special for the team and the Irish support and joked that his forwards deserved the kudos and anyone else who wanted to jump on the bandwagon.
The Irish were subdued at the press conference but admitted they’d certainly celebrate in Irish fashion in Auckland.
‘We’ll enjoy the night,’ said coach Declan Kidney, but it is only one game won. To win this tournament we have to win a few more. O’Driscoll added: ‘It feels good but it is not like I am sitting here with the Webb Ellis trophy.’
Both coaches singled out the scrum as being decisive in the third quarter of the game, but Kidney felt it was at the breakdown where his team fashioned the famous win.
‘We knew that to beat Australia we had to win the battle of the breakdown.’
By Mark Keohane at Eden Park, Auckland