Rugby - TODAY'S STORIES - IRISH EXAMINER

Next job: Putting a lid on soaring expectations

NOW that’s what I call a test match. Such was the intensity, endeavour and commitment to keeping the ball alive that the opening half of Saturday’s memorable clash passed in a flash. There were so many moments of brilliance in that period alone, those in the stands barely had time to draw breath.

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Ross rules when push comes to shove

An hour has passed since the last act and yet the beads of sweat still pop off Mike Ross’s temple like popcorn in a microwave.

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Schmidt’s Ireland eyeing more than southern scalps

Ireland 26 Australia 23

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Henshaw filling BOD’s boots with distinction

Dimestore wisdom says it’s better to be talked about than not, but the dwindling levels of chatter about Robbie Henshaw this last few weeks is testament to the seamless manner in which the youngster has slotted in to Joe Schmidt’s midfield.

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Jury is out on our wannabes

One coach ended up in hospital and the other was left with a serious World Cup headache: Ireland’s win against Australia told vastly different stories for two teams trying to prove themselves.

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Courageous Joe ‘recovering well’

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt is recuperating from an emergency appendectomy that tempered the enjoyment of his side’s victory over Australia on Saturday.

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Ireland now genuine world Cup contenders

They stand shoulder to shoulder with the All Blacks this morning — win for win, try for try, point for point. Ireland’s golden autumn now promises more, much more than a successful defence of the Six Nations title in the New Year.

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Students snatch dramatic draw

UCD 25 Cork Con 25

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Lansdowne pushed hard by Munsters

Lansdowne 28 Young Munster 21

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Dolphin adrift as Mary’s finish strongly

Dolphin 18 St. Mary’s College 27

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Leinster’s great escape

Guinness Pro12: Treviso 24 Leinster 24

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No sign of hyperbole stocks depleting here

The best 40 minutes rugby we have seen in years upon years

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Paulie promises plenty more to come

Paul O’Connell believes his Ireland side have plenty more to offer head coach Joe Schmidt as they turn into a World Cup year.

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Cheika tells Aussies to toughen up

Michael Cheika has challenged Australia to "harden up" against England at Twickenham on Saturday to dispel any notion the Wallabies are a soft touch.

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Jones says All Blacks 20 minutes ahead of the rest

Wales lock Alun-Wyn Jones believes New Zealand are "probably 20 minutes ahead of everybody else" after signing off in Europe before next year’s world title defence by serving emphatic notice that they remain a class apart.

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Best: Joe an attitude adjuster

Joe Schmidt’s "ruthless" selection policy has forced Ireland to shed mental weaknesses that were costing victories, according to Rory Best.

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Peter O'Mahony during a break in training at Carton House.  Picture: Inpho/Dan Sheridan

‘We know they’re looking to do a job on us at home’

If Peter O’Mahony has to be in a rugby stadium it is fair to say he would much rather be on the pitch than looking at it.

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Michael Cheika: Felt an outsider. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Cheika’s race against time

Nine months. Give or take a few days. That was more or less the time Kitch Christie had to fashion a team of world champions when he took over from Ian McIntosh as Springboks coach in October of 1994.

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Munster's Robin Copeland in action. Picture: Sportsfile

Casey brace a bonus for Munster

GUINNESS PRO12:
Dragons 12 Munster 38
Duncan Casey scored two tries as Munster continued their impressive unbeaten away record with a bonus point win over Newport Gwent Dragons.

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Picture; Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

‘No reason we can’t deal with the pressure’

Added expectation? Paul O’Connell has been playing under the burden of it for years and the Ireland captain sees no reason why his side cannot deal with it when they play Australia in Dublin this afternoon.

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TICKING THE BOXES: Ireland coach Joe Schmidt leads from the front during the captain's run at the Aviva Stadium. Picture: Billy Stickland

We’ve come a long way, now for the hard part

AUTUMN INTERNATIONAL:
Ireland v Australia
So far so good for Joe Schmidt and his blossoming Ireland team.

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Dave Kearney

Murphy and Kearney make seasonal bows

Jordi Murphy and Dave Kearney make their first starts of the season in Leinster’s Guinness Pro12 clash away to Benetton Treviso at Stadio Monigo tomorrow (2.30pm).

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Connacht's Mils Muliaina is tackled by Zebre's Andries Ferreira and Luca Redolfini. Picture: Inpho/James Crombie

Muliaina makes immediate impact

GUINNESS PRO12:
Connacht 43 Zebre 3
Not the most auspicious occasion on a wet Galway evening for an All Black centurion to make his debut, but Mils Muliaina made his presence felt in Connacht’s 43-3 victory over Zebre last evening.

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Ulster's Paddy Jackson lines up a kick at goal. Picture: INPHO/Presseye/Russell Pritchard

Cave makes it safe for Ulster

GUINNESS PRO12:
Ulster 25 Ospreys 16
Ireland centre Darren Cave’s second try two minutes from the end saw Ulster home at the Kingspan Stadium against a previously unbeaten Ospreys side that fought back from trailing 18-3 at the break.

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Richie McCaw. Picture: INPHO/Billy Stickland

Big team performance comes first for McCaw

AUTUMN INTERNATIONAL:
Wales v New Zealand
Richie McCaw says he will put team performance before personal milestones when he captains New Zealand for the 100th time in Tests today.

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Australia's Adam Ashley-Cooper gathers the ball during the captain's run ahead of today's game against Ireland at the Aviva. Picture: Ian Walton/Getty

Why are Aussies so good at range of sports?

Ireland play Australia today in rugby. And Compromise Rules. You knew that, of course.

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Michael Hooper's impact has been such that he was handed the captaincy of Australia at the tender age of 23 and has already accumulated 40 caps. Picture: Inpho/Ryan Byrne

How Ireland can blunt Hooper’s impact

Rhys Ruddock and Peter O’Mahony will have to workin tandem to negate the influence of Michael Hooper

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