The Leinster number 8 put on a defensive masterclass this afternoon and was absolutely pivotal in Ireland's victory over the Wallabies. He looked to get on the ball as often as possible, carrying 9 times for a total gain of 21 metres. Despite this solid attacking display, it was his defensive work which really caught the eye. He made a whopping 20 tackles, some of which coming at key moments of the game to halt the Australian attack.
The South African was one of the standout performers in a very impressive Irish forward pack performance in the series decider in Sydney. He led from the front, carrying 14 times for a total gain of 26 metres. He was rock solid in defence, making some earth-shattering hits and consistently disrupting the speed of the Aussie attack with dogged breakdown work. Saw his efforts rewarded early in the second half when he crashed over the whitewash following a strong Irish maul drive.
Yet again, the veteran Wallaby was their standout performer this weekend, this time in the slightly less familiar number 8 role. As always, he was impervious in defence, making 12 tackles and missing none. He also showed great determination and willingness in attack, looking to get into the line as frequently as possible and showed great power and strength when he got ball in hand. He was unplayable at the breakdown, consistently getting in over the ball and forcing countless penalties as the Irish player simply could not shift him off the ball.