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.
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