In what was a one-sided affair, Ireland took the bonus-point win over Russia

2019 Rugby World Cup: Ireland v Russia

2019 Rugby World Cup: Ireland 35-0 Russia


Played – 3

Ireland wins – 3

Russia wins – 0

Most recent meeting – Ireland 62-12 Russia (25 September 2011)

Ireland routed Russia back at the 2011 World Cup thanks to nine tries scored by eight different players.

Did You Know?

  • Russia are the ‘youngest’ team at this World Cup as their first Test was in 1992, although international rugby in the Soviet Union began in the Seventies.
  • They became the first team to be eliminated from this World Cup.
  • Rob Kearney’s second-minute try was Ireland’s quickest try at a World Cup.
  • Johnny Sexton captained Ireland for the first time on his 86th Test appearance.

Related: Rugby World Cup Fixtures

In a nutshell

The Rugby World Cup headed back to the port city of Kobe with the Irish looking to get over their shock loss to hosts Japan, and Russia just trying to put in a performance that reflected their huge leap forward in terms of competitiveness.

The Irish got out of the blocks quickly despite the incredible humidity, crossing the try-line in the opening two minutes with Rob Kearney. Yet they did not really get out of third gear and didn’t really need to as the Russians kept gifting the men in green with knock-ons and penalties.

Indeed a knock-on by Bogdan Fedotko gave the Irish a simple try as Sexton grubber-kicked through the Russian defence and Peter O’Mahony gathered to score. Things went bad to worse when Kiril Golosnitskiy, one of Russia’s best players, had to go off with the help of a stretcher after bashing his knee on the post in defence.

Despite the occasional clinical moment from the Irish, the first half was marred once again by handling errors thanks to humidity, sweat and a slippery ball. Both sides struggled to build momentum as knock-ons were the order of the day.

Seven minutes before half-time the Russians’ evening got a little bit harder thanks to that man Fedotko again as he conceded two penalties within a couple of minutes of each other which earned him a yellow-card. Rhys Ruddock made them pay almost immediately, bulldozing his way over to give Ireland a 21-0 lead at half-time.

Believe it or not but it took the Irish 21 minutes into the second-half to score another try and secure the bonus point. No doubt the Russians having another man sent to the sin-bin, this time Ostrikov, played its part.

It was Munster man Andrew Conway who dotted down next to the posts and they would have had another had it not been for Iain Henderson knocking on with the try-line beckoning. Commentator Ugo Monye was once again criticising the lack of clinical finishing, and on the basis of this moment it is hard to argue with him.

The final try of the match came off a lovely move, though, as Garry Ringrose capped off an up-and-down match for Ireland who finished as 35-0 winners.

Star man

Given the stop-start nature of the match, and the number of errors made by seemingly everyone, this was not an easy decision to make. However, we have gone for Jack Carty as he showed dynamism off the bench and set up big scores for the Irish.

Related: Rugby World Cup TV Coverage

The reaction

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt: “We need the win to take confidence, we need the performance to take confidence, and we need the support we got tonight to take confidence. I like the way we controlled the game in very tough conditions out there.

“We made it a little bit loose with the ball sometimes and in those greasy conditions and that high humidity… we knew there had already been 65 handling errors in the two games previously – maybe we tried to make 65 ourselves.”

Russia coach Lyn Jones: “I’m absolutely delighted with our performance. We came here to make it really hard for Ireland to score the four tries.

“I’m just so proud of our players, they absolutely gave everything. We were organised, our tactics worked well. Unfortunately we didn’t score any points, but the Russian players gave everything they had and they were shattered at the end, and that’s all you can ask.”

The Teams

Ireland: Rob Kearney (Jordan Larmour 49); Andrew Conway, Garry Ringrose, Bundee Aki, Keith Earls; Johnny Sexton (capt, Jack Carty 40), Luke McGrath; Dave Kilcoyne (Andrew Porter 57), Niall Scannell (Sean Cronin 57), James Ryan (Tadhg Furlong 57), Jean Kleyn (Iain Henderson 60), Tadhg Beirne; Rhys Ruddock, Peter O’Mahony, Jordi Murphy (CJ Stander 26).

Tries: Kearney 2, O’Mahony 13, Ruddock 36, Conway 61, Ringrose 75.  Cons: Sexton 3, Carty 2.

Russia: Vasily Artemyev (capt); German Davydov, Igor Galinovskiy, Kirill Golosnitskiy (Vladimir Ostroushko 14), Denis Simplikevich (Sergey Ianiushkin 70); Ramil Gaisin, Dmitry Perov; Andrey Polivalov (Valery Morozov 40), Evgeny Matveev (Stanislav Selskii 40), Kirill Gotovtsev, Andrey Garbuzov (Andrey Ostrikov 49), Bodgan Fedotko (Evgeny Elgin 63); Anton Sychev (Roman Khodin 68), Tagir Gadzhiev, Victor Gresev.

Yellow cards: Fedotko (33), Ostrikov (50).

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