IRELAND COMPLETED A November Tests clean sweep on Saturday after they beat Australia but the finish to the game was particularly frantic as the visitors looked for a score to deny Ireland.
The Irish rearguard needed to maintain perfect discipline to keep out the Wallabies and it was hard not to think back to that soul-destroying defeat to the All Blacks last year as Australia hunted for a decisive score.
Then, up stepped the captain. Brian O’Driscoll and Paul O’Connell have been Ireland’s two leaders over the last few years and with the former’s retirement, it is encouraging from an Irish perspective that the latter has somehow increased his performance levels.
With the clock ticking away, this massive tackle from O’Connell on Ben McCalman not only lifted his team-mates, but also everyone who was glued to the frenetic finale.
What a captain. O’Connell’s leadership is downright Churchillian at times.
H/T to reddit for the gif.
Joe Schmidt had his appendix removed after Ireland’s win over AustraliaSexton, Kearney and D’Arcy all set for return-to-play protocols