Ireland ran in six tries, with Keith Earls and Tommy Bowe grabbing a brace each as they raced to top Pool D, leaving them well placed to progress
Ireland never looked troubled as they cruised past Romania 44-10 at Wembley in front of a record World Cup crowd of 89,267. The wide men profited with Keith Earls and Tommy Bowe scored two tries apiece, leaving Joe Schmidt’s side sitting pretty with ten points after two games.
Ireland’s back three
Earls became Ireland’s joint highest try-scorer at World Cups, joining Brian O’Driscoll on seven, while Tommy Bowe bounced back from his Twickenham nightmare with two scores. Simon Zebo didn’t score but was also outstanding, making two tries.
Ian Madigan’s kicking
Okay, he missed a couple of kicks at the sticks, but Ian Madigan barely had a gimme all game and nailed several from the touchline. With his eye in, he’s such a natural, graceful kicker.
The Irish scrum
Up against the formidable Romanian pack, Ireland, with Cian Healy and Nathan White at the forefront certainly came out on top, earning one penalty and generally getting the nudge on throughout.
World record crowd
It was perhaps no surprise that the world record went in a game featuring Ireland. Their vociferous support, mostly clad in green, topped the attendance for last Sunday’s game between New Zealand and Argentina.
At his fifth World Cup, even if he didn’t play in 1999, veteran Tonita scampered in for Romania’s only try. It may have been a consolation try, but it was a fitting reward on a tough afternoon for his countrymen.
It’s getting a tired argument, but a four-day turnaround for Romania against the group’s top two teams simply isn’t a level playing field. They were understandably fatigued. Upsets from Tier 2 nations will be hard to come by if this continues to be the norm.
Ireland ended with Conor Murray deployed on the wing after Rob Kearney, a replacement himself, had to leave the field late on. They picked up a number of knocks in the backs, although none looked serious. Let’s hope that turns out to be the case with Italy and France up next.
27 – The number of defenders beaten by Ireland to just seven by Romania.
19 – Out of 19, the number of combined scrums and lineouts won by Ireland on their own ball.
102 – The number of passes made by Eoin Reddan on a busy afternoon.
Ireland: Simon Zebo, Tommy Bowe, Jared Payne (Paddy Jackson 57), Darren Cave, Keith Earls (Rob Kearney 48, Conor Murray 70), Ian Madigan, Eoin Reddan, Cian Healy (Jack McGrath 53), Richardt Strauss (Sean Cronin 59), Nathan White (Tadhg Furlong 63), Donnacha Ryan (Paul O’Connell 63), Devin Toner, Jordi Murphy, Chris Henry, Jamie Heaslip (Sean O’Brien 59).
Tries (6): Bowe 2, Earls 2, Kearney, Henry. Cons: Madigan 4. Pens: Madigan 2.
Romania: Catalin Fercu, Adrian Apostol (Florin Ionita 53), Paula Kinikinilau, Csaba Gal, Ionut Botezatu, Michael Wiringi (Florin Vlaicu 67), Valentin Calafeteanu (Florin Surugiu 67), Andrei Ursache (Mihaita Lazar 67), Andrei Radoi (Otar Turashvili 55), Paulica Ion (Alexandru Tarus 53), Valentin Poparlan, Ovidiu Tonita, Viorel Lucaci (Johan Van Heerden 67), Mihai Macovei (Stelian Burcea (59), Daniel Carpo
Try: Tonita. Con: Vlaicu. Pens: Calafeteanu
Yellow card: Gal
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Man of the Match: Keith Earls