1 KURTLEY Beale makes such a difference as a linkman deluxe with the calmness the team needs. His smart cross-field run to link with Bernard Foley should have been rewarded with an Israel Folau try, not a mystifying “no try” call from officious officials. His tackling was spot on and the high kick that Folau finally caught in midfield is a dangerous ploy.
MATCH: Pocock stars in Wallabies win
2 WINGER Dane Haylett-Petty is made for Test rugby. He had four key things to do and nailed all four – he caught two dangerous high kicks, got under a big Irish forward to save a try, and straightened the attack for the Bernard Foley try.
3 THE 2018 Wallabies are fitter. In the middle of last year, the Wallabies were running out of steam but they finished the stronger in the final 20 minutes last night when the game could have gone either way.
4 PETE Samu was the standout of the debutants. He had real game sense as a reserve backrower. He seized on the ball for a key forced-penalty at the ruck just two minutes after running on and made a key tackle to shut down an Irish raid in the closing minutes.
5 THIS will be a superb series and a strong 46,000-strong crowd knew it. The Irish were right in it with a style of play they know extremely well. They opened up the Wallabies a few times and only poor finishing denied them. The Wallabies rarely enjoyed the same quick ruck ball.