Ireland were a distinct second best against Australia at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, with the Wallabies running out 32-15 winners in their Autumn International clash.
The Australians raced into a lead through two first-half tries from Nick Cummins and Michael Hooper, but Johnny Sexton's kicking meant Ireland trailed just 12-15 at half-time.
But Australia continued to cut through the Irish defence in the second half, Quade Cooper stretching the lead after converting his own score—he finished with 17 points in all—before Hooper added his second score of the afternoon.
FT: #IRL 15-32 Australia Horrific defensive display from Ireland, missing tackle after tackle. Joe Schmidt has a serious bit of work to do— Boylesports (@Boylesports) November 16, 2013
Not even a red card with around 10 minutes of match remaining for centre Tevita Kuridrani, following a dangerous tackle, could allow Ireland back into the contest.
A late try for the men in green underneath the posts was chalked off when the TMO uncovered a knock-on earlier in the move, neatly summing up their impotence.
A knock on denies Sean Cronin a consolation try to end a miserable day for Ireland. Ireland 15-32 Australia. #RTErugby— RTÉ Rugby (@RTErugby) November 16, 2013
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Former Irish hooker Keith Wood, doing punditry work for the BBC, described the performance as "incredibly disappointing" on television afterwards.
If Australia are a side in development, then New Zealand, next week's opponents in Dublin, are the finished article—and on the strength of this performance there are few grounds for optimism for Ireland coach Joe Schmidt.