Rugby World Cup 2011
Boks v Oz clash on the cards
Robbie Deans (File)
Auckland -The Wallabies were crestfallen after a shattering try-less 15-6 mugging by Ireland to turn their World Cup campaign upside down at Eden Park on Saturday.
Yet again the Wallabies crashed and burned at the All Black citadel where they haven't won a Test since 1986 and now it was Ireland's turn to prolong the misery.
The ramifications are that Australia, barring any unforseen Irish collapse in their remaining pool games against lower-ranked Russia and Italy, are heading for a likely quarter-final with defending champions South Africa.
If the Wallabies negotiate their way past the Springboks then it is strongly likely that they will run into the All Blacks in the semi-finals.
It was just Australia's second loss in a pool stage at a World Cup after falling to South Africa 27-18 in 1995.
"We were outplayed, basically," coach Robbie Deans said.
"It doesn't really matter what elements you put it down to. We came here to play and to win and we came second."
Skipper James Horwill said the scrum had a big bearing on the outcome of the game.
"We'll do some work on that, we'll look at the (video) tape and hopefully it won't become an issue going forward.
"The Irish did very well and we played some dumb football. We were not good enough. We didn't deal with it well enough.
"Ireland did very well to spoil our game. They deserved to win. We needed to play a bit smarter and didn't hold onto the ball enough."
The Wallabies in the end had no answer to the suffocating pressure the Irish exerted on them and playmakers Quade Cooper and Will Genia were subdued by swarming defenders.
"The Irish played more intelligently, they put us under a lot of pressure and profited from that, particularly in our end of the ground," Deans said.
"It doesn't change everything, the tournament remains the same and what we got tonight was an insight into the World Cup is all about and what the Irish brought is exactly what's required to succeed in tournaments like this."
Cooper said the Wallabies were shellshocked by the loss.
"It's never a good feeling when you lose a game, especially when it's an important game in an important competition like the World Cup," he said.
"So there's a point where you've got to say 'we messed up there and as a team we've got to do better'.
"We've got to be in and amongst it around the finals series. We've got to get better and we've got to improve next week (against United States)."