12-try Ireland kick off World Cup campaign in style

Ireland were strong favourites coming into the game, but it was the Romanians who opened the scoring, as Gabriel Rupanu managed to get over for the game’s first try.

Andy Farrell’s Ireland side got off to an excellent start in the Rugby World Cup, as they recorded their largest ever World Cup victory, defeating Romania 82-8.

The number one ranked side in the world ran in 12 tries to one in a dominant opening performance where Munster men Peter O’Mahony, Keith Earls, Tadhg Beirne, Conor Murray, Jack Crowley and Jeremy Loughman featured, the latter duo making their World Cup debut.

O’Mahony was named the man of the match, dotting down twice with Beirne also scoring a brace. Crowley kicked a number of conversions.

9 September 2023; Peter O’Mahony of Ireland after his side’s victory in the 2023 Rugby World Cup Pool B match between Ireland and Romania at Stade de Bordeaux in Bordeaux, France. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Ireland were strong favourites coming into the game, but it was the Romanians who opened the scoring, as Gabriel Rupanu managed to get over for the game’s first try.

Rupanu missed the subsequent conversion, meaning Romania only held a five point advantage.

Moments later Ireland would answer with a try of their own, as Jonny Sexton put Bundee Aki through a gap, who linked with his centre partner Garry Ringrose before he put the supporting Jamison Gibson-Park away for a crisply-taken try to mark his World Cup debut.

Sexton nailed the conversion and Ireland moved into the lead.

Hugo Keenan found Ireland’s second try on the 12 minute mark, which Sexton converted once more, and Ireland were now looking to build a commanding lead.

It took just five minutes before Tadhg Beirne bundled over, although this time Sexton missed his conversion, meaning Ireland lead 19-5 nearing the midway point of the first-half.

Bundee Aki got Ireland’s fourth try, Sexton made no mistake with the conversion this time, and the Leinster man went over for a try of his own just before half-time, which he also converted.

Despite the early setback, Ireland led 33-8 at the break.

Rob Herring and Peter O’Mahony went over in the opening ten minutes of the second-half, before Sexton got his second try of the afternoon.

22-year-old Joe McCarthy touched down for a try on his World Cup debut, with replacement Jack Crowley on hand to convert to give Ireland a 61-8 lead.

O’Mahony, Aki and Beirne all scored their second tries in the closing stages of the game, all of which were converted by Crowley, meaning Ireland had secured a comfortable 82-8 win in Bordeaux.

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