Eurosport - Sat, 26 Jun 10:29:00 2010
Australia, who bounced back from defeat to England last week, scored the game's two tries through Luke Burgess and the outstanding Quade Cooper, who was the difference between the two injury-ravaged sides.
Ireland coach Declan Kidney opted for Jonathan Sexton ahead of veteran Ronan O'Gara and the Leinster fly-half did not disappoint as he scored all of the tourists' points with five first-half penalties.
Both sides were missing key players, but Australia coach Robbie Deans will take great heart from the way his scrum got an advantage.
The Wallabies pack, crushed by England in their last two Tests, were missing all of their first-choice front five but still managed to disrupt the Ireland set-piece and gain an unexpected edge.
With so many front-line players absent it was no surprise that the game was a stop-start affair, with the limited scoring opportunities mostly going the way of the home side.
Neither back line were at their fluent best, but Cooper was able to constantly test the Ireland defence on the gain line with the dancing feet that are fast making him one of the most exciting players in world rugby.
The visitors, 16-15 at the break, were kept scoreless in the second half but they battled hard for the full 80 minutes and it is to their credit that they were still in the game at the end of a long, hard season.
Ireland, who were also without six of their first-choice pack, started strongly and were 6-0 up after 10 minutes thanks to two penalties from Sexton, the second a superb long-range effort.
Cooper showed his kicking skills from wide out to cut the deficit before Ireland handed the Wallabies their first try on a plate in the 17th minute.
Number eight Chris Henry, making his first full start, picked up from the base of a scrum but his pass to half-back Tomas O'Leary was snapped up by Burgess who sprinted unopposed for the opening try,
Sexton added three more penalties to one from Cooper to put Ireland back on the front foot but they were cut open by the magic of teh Wallabies fly-half just before the interval.
There was a strong element of luck about the Wallabies' first try, but their second was down to Cooper's mesmerising brilliance.
The Reds half-back took the ball standing still, drew the Irish defence before stepping through the tackles of Shane Jennings and Rob Kearney for a glorious touchdown.
Ireland enjoyed a number of promising spells in the second half but were mostly undone by individual errors, with skipper Brian O'Driscoll uncharacteristically knocking on more than once.
In the 48th minute Ireland worked the ball well to Tommy Bowe in space on the right wing but the Wallabies defence covered well to cut down the Lions star.
Two minutes later Kurtley Beale should have scored the Wallabies' third try but wrongly opted to chip ahead with the line beckoning.
But Ireland's defence was offside and Giteau added the penalty to make it 19-15.
Giteau and Burgess grew in influence in the third quarter and Ireland were punished for offside in front of their own posts and went 22-15 behind on the hour mark.
The contest lost further shape in the final quarter as both sides made full use of their bench, although Ireland bravely took the game to the hosts in search of an equalising score.
But every time they developed a promising position they were let down by basic mistakes.
It was a disappointing end to a disappointing tour for Ireland, who are unlikely to get a better chance of a Test scalp in Australia.