Gallery: Ireland outclassed by a powerful Wallabies side
Ireland suffered a bruising defeat at the hands of Australia in the Aviva stadium tonight by a score of 15-32
The optimism surrounding the new era under Ireland's head coach Joe Schmidt may well have taken a knock today as he saw his side slump to a 15-32 defeat at home to a powerful Australian side.
Despite an upbeat mood and some confidence going in to the game, many of the mistakes and errors which the coach focused on in the wake of a big win against Samoa last week were in evidence again, with unforced errors costing Ireland dearly.
However, Australia were too quick and too physical for an Ireland side that was seemingly short of experience of games of that intensity, and made many uncharacteristic mistakes. They were punished with some inventive play and a great display from Quade Cooper as the visiting side raced into an early lead by a score of 3-15.
Ireland were close at the break, but a quick try from that man Cooper widened the gap, and the loss of Sexton with what looks like a bad hamstring injury just before half time was a real problem, as he had been so central in pulling the strings and making the kicks that had kept Ireland close.
Michael Hooper also touched down from a powerful display on a maul, and the game was all but dead at that point. Schmidt rang the changes and a little bit of energy was injected into the team again. They crossed the try line for what they thought was a score for Cronin, only for it to be disallowed for a knock on in an earlier phase of play.
All in all this will be a bitter pill to swallow for the new coaching staff and the players, who will be licking their wounds both physical and mental in the lead up to another tough game against New Zealand in the next test in the autumn series, and are staring down the barrel of a lone win from the three fixtures.