Melbourne (AFP) – Coach Joe Schmidt says there was nothing “monumental” in Ireland’s first win over the Wallabies in Australia for 39 years, unless a Test series triumph is delivered next weekend.
Fly-half Johnny Sexton starred as the Six Nations champions downed the Wallabies 26-21 in Melbourne on Saturday for their first Test win in Australia since 1979.
The series is now set for a decider in Sydney on Saturday.
New Zealander Schmidt said he was not basking in Ireland’s breakthrough win and that everything now hinged on the third Test.
“I think it all depends on what we can deliver next week and I know the Wallabies will be thinking the same thing,” he told reporters after Saturday’s win.
Schmidt said his team had cut down on turnovers since their 18-9 first Test loss in Brisbane.
“I think we looked after our ball a lot better, there were probably half as many turnovers as we had the previous week, so that didn’t allow them as much access to play off turnover ball, where we know they’re so dangerous,” the coach said.
He praised Keith Earls for keeping Israel Folau’s usual aerial supremacy in check but said Ireland had struggled to match the Wallabies for stamina in the Test’s final minutes.
“In that third quarter, we broke the line a couple of times really well but it was difficult to score in behind it.
“We were just hanging in towards the end there, which you don’t want to be against an Australian team with the athletes they have and the way they like to play with width.”
Injured players Andrew Conway, Dan Leavy and Cian Healy should all recover in time for the third Test, Schmidt said.
Conway will likely be back to full training on Tuesday after a hip knock, while the coach was optimistic about Healy’s AC ligament injury and a “whack on the sternum” for Leavy.