Ireland captain Peter O'Mahony desperate to win in Australia

Peter O'Mahony
Peter O'Mahony

Ireland captain Peter O'Mahony reckons a series win in Australia would rank alongside his team's Grand Slam success.

The Six Nations champions' 26-21 victory in Melbourne last weekend set up a winner-takes-all finale against the Wallabies at a sold-out Allianz Stadium in Sydney on Saturday.

Sean Cronin missed training on the eve of the game and, although the Irish Rugby Football Union insists the Leinster man's workload is being managed, Munster hooker Niall Scannell is on standby.

Cronin's inclusion in the team is one of five changes from head coach Joe Schmidt, who has brought in Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale, Jack Conan and Jack McGrath, with Leinster fly-half Ross Byrne primed for his international debut off the bench.

It is the final game of a hugely successful season for Schmidt's team and O'Mahony says his players are ready for one last push to end a 39-year wait for a series win over one of the southern hemisphere's big three.

"It has to be right up there," he said of the task at hand.

"None of this group has done it. The last time we won a Test here (before last weekend) was 1979, so that says enough of how hard it is to win over here.

"To talk about winning a series over here is up there with one of the biggest challenges in world rugby.

"We want to go and win (on Saturday) but we know we've got to get our process right and our performance is paramount. If we don't put in a good performance, we could be well beaten by 30 or 40 points if we're not on the ball.

"There is that fear factor for us that if you're not good, they could put a lot of points on us."

Schmidt said on Thursday that his team would need their best performance of the season to emerge triumphant, and O'Mahony echoed those sentiments.

"We need to build on our performance from last week, and that's the main priority for us," he said.

"There were things we did a lot better last week that are going to have to step up again this week because we know how proud Australia are.

"Their record at home is incredible and a team of their calibre, their performances... we have no doubt it's going to be one of the best they've put in all year.

"We know we have to match that and go beyond if we want to get a win."

Australia coach Michael Cheika made two changes to his side, with Nick Phipps replacing the injured Will Genia and Lukhan Tui coming in for Caleb Timu.

Wallabies captain Michael Hooper is confident his team can close out the series at the second attempt.

"As a stand-alone match, this is really exciting," he said. "That's the unique thing about this June series - it's a three-game shootout, really.

"We can come here and have a deciding game and be a fantastic spectacle. We have talked it up being a Grand Final, so yeah, it's going to be tough on the field.

"But just the buzz around, you look at your phone and people are messaging in, excited about the game, trying to snag a ticket or two. That's great for us as players and I am sure the people will enjoy it."

Related rugby union links

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read

Gary Anderson and Gerwyn Price go head-to-head in the Grand Slam of Darts final1

Grand Slam of Darts: Final day live

Follow live updates and highlights from the final of the Grand Slam of Darts between Gary Anderson and Gerwyn Price in Wolverhampton.

Jesse Lingard celebrates scoring for England against Croatia at Wembley2

England secure finals spot

England came from a goal down to book their place in next summer's Nations League finals in Portugal and also condemn Croatia to relegation.

Samcro jumps the last ahead of Black Op3

Samcro camp eye Fighting Fifth tilt

Last-minute Unibet Morgiana Hurdle absentee Samcro is likely to run next in Newcastle's Fighting Fifth - when he may clash with dual champion Buveur D'Air at the start of next month.

Gary Anderson (Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)4

Anderson to face MVG in semis

Michael van Gerwen overcame a real battle with Jonny Clayton to set up a Grand Slam of Darts semi-final with Gary Anderson in Wolverhampton.

Buzz (left) on his way to victory at Newbury5

Monday's racing preview

Keith Hamer says Buzz can scoop a big pot for a Monday in the £75,000 32Red Middle Distance Series Final Handicap at Kempton on Monday.

Most Read

Gary Anderson and Gerwyn Price go head-to-head in the Grand Slam of Darts final1

Grand Slam of Darts: Final day live

Follow live updates and highlights from the final of the Grand Slam of Darts between Gary Anderson and Gerwyn Price in Wolverhampton.

Jesse Lingard celebrates scoring for England against Croatia at Wembley2

England secure finals spot

England came from a goal down to book their place in next summer's Nations League finals in Portugal and also condemn Croatia to relegation.

Samcro jumps the last ahead of Black Op3

Samcro camp eye Fighting Fifth tilt

Last-minute Unibet Morgiana Hurdle absentee Samcro is likely to run next in Newcastle's Fighting Fifth - when he may clash with dual champion Buveur D'Air at the start of next month.

Gary Anderson (Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)4

Anderson to face MVG in semis

Michael van Gerwen overcame a real battle with Jonny Clayton to set up a Grand Slam of Darts semi-final with Gary Anderson in Wolverhampton.

Buzz (left) on his way to victory at Newbury5

Monday's racing preview

Keith Hamer says Buzz can scoop a big pot for a Monday in the £75,000 32Red Middle Distance Series Final Handicap at Kempton on Monday.

Racing Tips

Nap Of The Day

Daily Nap: Get on Grange

Ben Linfoot heads to Kempton's evening card on Monday for the Sporting Life Daily Nap and he's putting his faith in a course winner.

Buzz (left) on his way to victory at Newbury

Monday's racing preview

Keith Hamer says Buzz can scoop a big pot for a Monday in the £75,000 32Red Middle Distance Series Final Handicap at Kempton on Monday.

Royal Line (right) pulls clear to win the November Handicap

Sporting Life Tipping Record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in November 2018.

Next Race Off

21:00 Del Mar
5
(5)
Bridal Arch
J: Rafael Bejarano
4
(4)
Generous Pour
J: Edwin Maldonado
8
(8)
Honor Maker
J: Alonso Quinonez

Football Tips

Sporting Life's betting tips for England v Croatia on November 18

England to burst out of the blocks

George Pitts fancies England to win their crunch Nations League match with Croatia on Sunday, with two recommended bets for the Wembley meeting.

Our best bets for the latest games in the Sky Bet EFL

Sky Bet EFL betting preview

There may be no Sky Bet Championship, but there is still plenty of value on offer in Leagues One and Two on Saturday.

Our latest goalscorer treble

Sporting Life Goalscorer Treble

We have three prolific goalscorers this season for our treble this week, enhanced to 11/1 with EFL title sponsors Sky Bet.