SYDNEY, June 9 (Reuters) - David Pocock returned to test rugby with a bang on Saturday to help Australia to a 18-9 win over Six Nations champions Ireland in Brisbane and give the Wallabies a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
The openside flanker, who sat out the 2017 season on a sabbatical, scored Australia’s second try in the 72nd minute and was a constant menace at the breakdown as the Irish fell to a first defeat in 13 tests.
Flyhalf Bernard Foley scored the rest of Australia’s points at Lang Park with a try, a conversion and two penalties, the second of which gave Australia a two-point lead with 12 minutes remaining.
Flyhalf Joey Carbery, getting a rare start ahead of Johnny Sexton, kicked three penalties for the Irish in a tight match that will only whet the appetite for the remaining tests in Melbourne and Sydney. (Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)