Johnny Sexton scored two tries and kicked seven conversions as Ireland stormed to a convincing win over Romania in the Pool B opener in Bordeaux; Peter O’Mahony, Bundee Aki and Tadhg Beirne grabbed two tries each as well as Ireland beat their previous highest score at a World Cup
Last Updated: 09/09/23 4:33pm
Johnny Sexton marked his return to action with two tries as Ireland began their Rugby World Cup campaign with a record 82-8 win over Romania in Saturday’s Pool B clash in Bordeaux.
The reigning Six Nations champions were stunned early on as Gabriel Rupanu finished an early counter-attack to put Romania ahead with an unconverted try, but it was pretty much all Ireland from that moment on.
Jamison Gibson-Park, Hugo Keenan, Tadhg Beirne, Bundee Aki and the returning Johnny Sexton all crossed as the world’s No 1-ranked team wrapped up the try-scoring bonus point before the break, while Romania were not helped by having Marius Simionescu sin-binned.
Sexton, Aki and Beirne all grabbed their second tries after the break, while Peter O’Mahony’s second-half double, and singles from Rob Herring and Joe McCarthy saw Ireland surpass the total from their previous World Cup best score in the 64-7 win over Namibia 20 years ago.
Sexton’s 24-point haul, meanwhile, saw him move ahead of Ronan O’Gara as Ireland’s record point-scorer at World Cups too.
More to follow…
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Ireland head to Nantes for their second game in Pool B when they take on Tonga on Saturday, September 16 (8pm). Romania, meanwhile, face World Cup holders South Africa the following day in Bordeaux (2pm).