27 Nov 2016

Ireland beat Australia in thriller, South Africa lose again

10:18 am on 27 November 2016

Ireland claimed a third southern hemisphere scalp in six months by surviving a slew of injuries and an improbable comeback to hand Australia their only November tour defeat in a thrilling 27-24 victory.

Ireland celebrate win over All Blacks 2016.

Ireland celebrating Photo: Photosport

Following up wins over South Africa and New Zealand, Ireland stormed out of the blocks with tries from Iain Henderson and Garry Ringrose.

Ireland had been 17-0 up over the Australia, before the home side was struck down by injuries and a fine Dane Haylett-Petty try handed Australia a lifeline at the break.

The visitors took advantage of the injuries, which forced Ireland to field their replacement halfback and first five-eighth at fullback and wing, with Australia taking the lead before the hour when Tevita Kuridrani and Sefanaia Naivalu cut apart an Irish defence in tatters.

The Wallabies centre Tevita Kuridrani.

The Wallabies centre Tevita Kuridrani. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Yet Ireland somehow dragged themselves back into the game to retake the lead with a converted Keith Earls try and their rejuvenated defence hung on for the final 15 minutes to record a famous, wild victory.

In London, a 14-man England team overcame their handicap to grind out a 27-14 victory over Argentina to make it 12 wins in a row under Eddie Jones

England rugby team celebrates win over Australia 2016.

England rugby team celebrates win over Australia 2016. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Daly was given a red card for tackling Leonardo Senatore in the air just five minutes into the match, but England still battled to a 16-0 lead off the boot of Owen Farrell and a penalty try.

Argentina got back to 16-14 within a minute of the second half but some streetwise play enabled Farrell to stretch the lead before a Jonny May try secured the win.

England can complete an unbeaten calendar year with victory over Australia next week.

Meanwhile, South Africa capped off their worst ever year with yet another loss, going down to Wales 27-13 in Cardiff.

Flanker Justin Tipuric capped an outstanding individual performance with a late try to give Wales victory over South Africa on Saturday and condemn the Springboks to their worst ever year.

Wales flanker Justin Tipuric.

Wales flanker Justin Tipuric. Photo: Photosport

Wales scored two tries and Leigh Halfpenny added 15 points from a 100 percent kicking return to secure only the third Welsh win ever over South Africa.

Tipuric ran the perfect line to burst through the visitors defence for a 77th-minute try just as South Africa were mounting a late bid to get back into the game.

It was a third test success in a row for Wales, who were criticised after their narrow victory over Japan last week, while South Africa ended a dismal year with eight losses in 12 matches.

In Italy, Tonga upset the home side 19-17 with a successful penalty in the dying moments of the game.

The Tonga rugby team celebrates their win over Italy

The Tonga rugby team celebrates their win over Italy Photo: Photosport

Italy was brought back down to earth after last week's win over South Africa with Tonga's surprise Sonatane Takulua converting a last-minute penalty to give the visitors the win in Padua.

The win was just Tonga's sixth-ever win against a tier one nation.

In all, Takulua amassed 14 points from four penalties and a conversion in what was a see- saw match.

- Reuters, AAP