Ireland got what they deserved in their 18-9 defeat by Australia in Brisbane, said head coach Joe Schmidt.
The tourists’ 12-game winning run was brought to an end after tries by David Pocock and Bernard Foley in Brisbane.
Ireland were denied two tries as CJ Stander failed to ground the ball under pressure and Kieran Marmion’s late score was ruled out for a knock-on.
“What you deserve is whatever the result is at the end of the day and you can’t change that,” said Schmidt.
“There was a few missed opportunities for us, but they had a few as well, and that suggests that it will be pretty close again next week.”
- Relive Australia’s victory over Ireland
In a breathless final 10 minutes, former Australia captain Pocock marked his first Test appearance after an 18-month sabbatical with a try to give the hosts a comfortable lead.
Ireland staged a final push for a consolation score but Marmion’s effort in injury time was eventually ruled out by the television match official because of a knock-on in the build-up.
It capped a frustrating defeat for the Six Nations champions, who were clearly disappointed with referee Marius van der Westhuizen’s interpretation of the breakdown.
“We thought we had a try to finish it off, not that it changed the result,” added Schmidt
“We had two knock-ons five metres from the line and it’s difficult to contain players when they can clearly see a hand on the ball and they lose it forward and they don’t get the try that they’re looking for.
“So I understand their frustrations but I also admire the way the Wallabies managed to do it.”
The visitors had trailed 8-6 at half-time but the game hinged on Stander’s near miss just three minutes after the restart.
The Munster flanker got no reward from a 40-metre break after winger Dane Haylett-Petty managed to get his hand under the ball to prevent a certain try.
“I think if they [the match officials] had asked a different question, it looked to me like he would have got the benefit of the doubt but they just couldn’t see a clear grounding because of the question they asked,” Schmidt said.
“That’s how fine the margins are but the Wallabies missed out on one as well so maybe it’s swings and roundabouts.”
The two sides will meet again on Saturday, 16 June in Melbourne before the third and final Test on Saturday, 23 June in Sydney.
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