Palmerbet Sports Team preview the second rugby Test between Australia and Ireland, with the Wallabies looking to back up their impressive win in the opener and seal a series victory.
20:00 (AEST), Sat 16th Jun @ AAMI Park, Melbourne
History: Played 34: Australia 22 V Ireland 11 (1 Draw).
Last meeting: June 9, 2018: Australia 18 d Ireland 9 at Suncorp Stadium.
Final Thoughts: The Wallabies started their 2018 campaign in style, grinding out an 18-9 win over Six Nations champions and world No.2-ranked Ireland in the first Test in Brisbane.
The hosts trailed 9-8 with 12 minutes left, but Bernard Foley – who scored the only try of the first half – slotted a go-ahead penalty and David Pocock scored a match-sealing try.
Pocock was enormous in his first Test after a year-long sabbatical, while the backline firepower provided by Will Genia, Kurtley Beale and Israel Folau was a clear advantage against an Irish side that finished try-less.
It was an important first step for the Wallabies to put the heavy Spring Tour losses to England and Scotland well behind them. Ireland, meanwhile, may recall flyhalf Jonny Sexton, who was a shock omission from the series opener.
Ireland have won three of the last five Tests between the nations – two in Dublin and one in Auckland – but Australia are on an eight-match home winning streak in the rivalry, with Ireland’s last victory Down Under coming way back in 1979.
Australia have won 11 of their last 13 Tests in Melbourne, including both previous encounters against Ireland.
Seven of the last eight Tests between the nations have been decided by nine points or less and this shapes as another slug-fest, but the Wallabies look great value as only narrow favourites if they can produce the same gutsy effort this weekend.