Romania failed to win any of their World Cup warm-ups and suffered record defeats by Georgia and Italy. So it’s fair to say no one was expecting Ireland, European champions and on a 13-match winning streak, to fall behind when the two nations met in Bordeaux.
In just the second minute of the Pool B encounter, Johnny Sexton threaded a grubber kick into the wide channel intended for Keith Earls. The winger was beaten to the ball by Hinckley Vaovasa, making only his second Test start at fly-half.
He tore up the left touchline and, as Hugo Keenan came across to tackle, offloaded out of the contact to scrum-half Gabriel Rupanu, who cruised over for a stunning try. The tournament’s lowest-ranked team led the world’s No 1 ranked team 5-0.
Watch the try below.
It didn’t take long for normal service to be resumed as scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park, full-back Keenan and back-row Tadhg Beirne all crossed for tries before the first water break arrived on 20 minutes with Ireland leading 19-8.
Recommended videos for you
Download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.
Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.