Ireland got the bonus-point victory expected of them as they took a welcome step towards the World Cup quarter-finals on Thursday but this was not the bounce-back performance required following last Saturday’s defeat to Japan.
To no-one’s surprise at Kobe Misaki Stadium, Ireland were too good for their Pool A opponents, still looking for a first victory in their second visit to the tournament following a 2011 debut in New Zealand.
34: TRY Scotland!
Greg Laidlaw bounces out of a tackle races clear to round off a good Scottish move.
They lead Samoa by 17!
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September 30, 2019
Ireland scored nine tries in their first World Cup meeting eight years ago, a 62-12 victory in Rotorua but while this time they scored five and were never under serious pressure this was nothing like as fluid a performance as was required to restore momentum heading towards the final pool game with Samoa in nine days and into the knockout stages.
Aside from the unforced errors with a slippery ball and playing surface under the closed roof in Kobe, further concern will arise after losing Joey Carbery from the replacements before kick-off after “irritation” to ankle injury and No.8 Jordi Murphy in the first half on his tournament debut, less than a week after flying in to replace foot-fracture victim Jack Conan. Fly-half and captain Johnny Sexton was removed at half-time having kicked all three of his conversions.
Ireland still need maximum match points against the Samoans next week to reach the last eight and if they repeat this performance that should come readily enough. Yet the aftershocks of that 19-12 loss to the Japanese in Shizuoka last weekend look set to rumble on and questions remain as to whether Joe Schmidt’s team will be able to raise their game to a level good enough to compete with either New Zealand or South Africa in a quarter-final in a little over two weeks.
IRELAND: R Kearney (J Larmour, 49); A Conway, G Ringrose, B Aki, K Earls; J Sexton – captain (J Carty, h-t), L McGrath; D Kilcoyne (A Porter, 57), N Scannell (S Cronin, 57), J Ryan (T Furlong, 57); T Beirne, J Kleyn (I Henderson, 60); R Ruddock, P O’Mahony, J Murphy (CJ Stander, 27).
Replacement not used: C Murray.
RUSSIA: V Artemyev – captain; G Davydov, I Galinovskiy, K Golosnitskiy (V Ostroushko, 14), D Simplikevich (S Ianiushkin, 70); R Gaisin, D Perov; A Polivalov (V Morozov, 40), E Matveev (S Selskii, h-t), K Gotovtsev (V Podrezov, 67); A Garbuzov (A Ostrikov, 49), B Fedotko (E Elgin, 61); A Sychev (R Khodin, 69),T Gadzhiev, V Gresev.
Yellow cards: B Fedotko 34-44, A Ostrikov 50-60
Referee: Jerome Garces (France)
Source:: Daily times