Johnny Sexton also marks his 100th Test for Ireland with a try in 60-5 win
Andrew Conway scores hat-trick against Japan
Andrew Conway scored a hat-trick as Ireland opened their autumn campaign with a 60-5 win over Japan.
Captain Johnny Sexton also marked his 100th Test for Ireland by scoring 16 points, including a try.
It was a far more one-sided encounter than the previous two matches between the two sides – Ireland won 39-31 in their July Test while Japan famously beat the Irish at the 2019 Rugby World Cup – and the 40,000-strong crowd inside the Aviva Stadium had plenty to cheer.
James Lowe opened the scoring after just four minutes and then his fellow winger Conway crossed after a flowing attacking move that covered the width of the pitch.
Conway got his second a few minutes later and scrum-half Jamison Gibson Park had crossed for Ireland’s fourth before the half-time whistle blew.
Ireland scored a further five tries after the break. Conway completed his hat-trick, Garry Ringrose, Bundee Aki and Cian Healy also touched down, and Sexton scored his 15th try for Ireland after being put through a gap by Gibson Park.
Siosaia Fifita did get some points on the board for Japan with a try midway through the half but it was nevertheless a comfortable win for Andy Farrell’s side.
Conway told Channel 4 post-match: “Johnny Sexton drives us like no one I have ever seen. He can be narky at times but this is a physical sport and we need that in training sessions.”
Next weekend Ireland face New Zealand, who beat Italy 47-9 in their Saturday match. Hookers Dane Coles and Asafo Aumua both scored braces while Finlay Christie, Sevu Reece and Hoskins Sotutu also got tries in that All Blacks’ win.
Argentina are Ireland’s final opponents this autumn, on Sunday 21 November
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