A creaking Ireland side are under serious pressure after Australia burst out of the blocks in the second half of their meeting in Dublin.

The Irish side dominated the first half, but lost three backs - Rob Kearney, Andrew Trimble and Jared Payne - to injury in an attritional opening 40 minutes.

Two minutes into the half, winger Henry Speight crossed in the corner after an expansive passing move in front of the Havelock Square end.

Ireland were let off the hook however, after the TMO adjudged one of the passes in the move to have gone forward.

Australia made no mistake three minutes later, with centre Tevita Kuridrani touching down in almost the exact same spot to make it 17-12 to Ireland.

Bernard Foley added the conversion to cut the gap to two points, before Paddy Jackson kicked a much needed penalty to extend the Irish lead back to 20-14.

The respite was short lived for the Irish side as the Australian's again cut the Irish back division apart approaching the hour mark, allowing replacement Sefanaia Naivalu to cross over.

Foley again added the extras to put Australia ahead for the first time in the game.

Shortly afterwards Jamie Heaslip gave away a penalty by failing to roll away in a tackle, giving Foley an opportunity to extend that lead.

He duly did so to make it Australia 24 Ireland 20 on the hour mark.