JOHNNY SEXTON scored two tries on his Ireland return as Andy Farrell’s men hammered Romania in their World Cup opener.
Sexton, Peter O’Mahony, Bundee Aki, and Tadhg Beirne all helped themselves to two tries apiece in an 82-8 hammering.
In a betrayal of the final scoreline, it was Romania who made the brighter start and took the lead through a Garbiel Rupanu try on four minutes.
That lead lasted just a minute before Jamison Gibson-Park crossed over, Sexton’s conversion putting them into a 7-5 lead.
Hugo Keenan and Tadhg Beirne extended Ireland’s lead before Romania were reduced to 14 with a yellow card to Marius Simionescu before Bundee Aki touched down for the bonus point.
Johnny Sexton got Ireland’s fifth try on the stroke of half-time but they only ramped up the gears in the second period.
Rob Herring got their first of SEVEN second-half scores on 45 minutes before Peter O’Mahony got his first on five minutes later.
Sexton got his second before Joe McCarthy crossed the whitewash on his World Cup debut and Peter O’Mahony got Ireland’s tenth on 70 minutes.
Ireland still had time to get more, with Bundee Aki and Tadhg Beirne both completing their respective braces with tries number 11 and 12.
it was the dream start to the campaign for the Boys in Green, who next face Tonga next weekend before subsequent games against South Africa and Scotland to come.
Follow along with every piece of build-up, action, and reaction with SunSport’s LIVE coverage below!
Twelve tries, a record win, and some showboating rugby in the final seconds – Ireland announced themselves on this World Cup as they ROM-ped to victory.
We will leave you with our man Owen Cowzer’s match report from today’s game in Bordeaux.
FULL-TIME: IRELAND 82-8 ROMANIA
Final whistle goes in Bordeaux and Ireland are off and running in the Rugby World Cup with the easiest of wins over Romania.
Johnny Sexton (2), Peter O’Mahony (2), Bundee Aki (2), Tadhg Beirne (2), Jamison Gibson-Park, Hugo Keenan, Rob Herring and Joe McCarthy all got their names on the scoresheet in the 12-try rout.
74′ IRELAND 75-8 ROMANIA
Romania’s defence splits in half and Mack Hansen sets Bundee Aki away for try number ELEVEN!
The Connacht man joins Peter O’Mahony and Johnny Sexton in scoring braces.
Crowley converts again.
70′ IRELAND 68-8 ROMANIA
And there is try number TEN as Peter O’Mahony touches down in the corner for his second of the day.
Still time for more as Jack Crowley converts to make the gap SIXTY!
67′ IRELAND 61-8 ROMANIA
He wouldn’t be denied. Joe McCarthy does get his try.
Ireland turn over the Romania line-out and work it into the debutant, who skips over the line.
67′ IRELAND 54-8 ROMANIA
HUGE tackle by Simionescu to stop Joe McCarthy from making it try number nine.
Massive collision on the line.
66′ IRELAND 54-8 ROMANIA
Johnny Sexton is withdrawn to mass applause from the adoring Ireland supporters.
Jack Crowley is on for his World Cup debut.
62′ IRELAND 54-8 ROMANIA
Conor Murray’s first act is to set up Johnny Sexton for his second try of the day.
A very successful return for the Ireland captain.
Sexton converts and is on 24 points for the day. Ten points away from breaking Ronan O’Gara’s all-time points-scoring record.
60′ IRELAND 47-8 ROMANIA
Another couple of changes for Ireland, with Conor Murray and Mack Hansen on for Jamison Gibson-Park and Keith Earls.
59′ IRELAND 47-8 ROMANIA
Exceptional from Vaovasa, who gathers possession on his own line and embarks on a mazy run.
It takes him past Keith Earls, Josh van der Flier, and Hugo Keenan before being taken down by Johnny Sexton on halfway.
Ireland win the scrum for a knock on off the out-half as the water break is called.
56′ IRELAND 47-8 ROMANIA
Another couple of changes for Ireland.
Caelan Doris and James Ryan off for Josh van der Flier and Iain Henderson.
Ireland are one score away from 50 points but should get a lot more than that come the final whistle.
52′ IRELAND 47-8 ROMANIA
Triple change for Ireland.
Jeremy Loughman, Ronan Kelleher, and Tom O’Toole on.
Rob Herring, Andrew Porter, and Tadhg Furlong off.
50′ IRELAND 47-8 ROMANIA
Herring with a brilliant line break from a clever Tadhg Furlong pass that gets Ireland up to the Romanian 22.
Ireland recycle and it gets to Peter O’Mahony, who crosses over for the 7th try of the afternoon.
Sexton converts again.
48′ IRELAND 40-8 ROMANIA
Brilliant from Hugo Keenan, who brings the play just outside the 22 with an excellent kick.
First change for Romania, Savin on for Hartig.
45′ IRELAND 40-8 ROMANIA
Oh so easy for Ireland who get their sixth.
Romania are penalised for an offside and Rob Herring takes the 5m restart and powers over with the help of Porter and Ryan.
Sexton nails the conversion.
44′ IRELAND 33-8 ROMANIA
Two quick penalties conceded by Romania, restored to their full contingent with the return of Simionescu.
Sexton finds touch deep inside the Romanian 22.
41′ IRELAND 33-8 ROMANIA
Away we go for the second-half.
It is VERY hot in Bordeaux right now.
A commanding first-half performance from Ireland, who already have the bonus point in the bag and can focus and running up the scoreline.
They started nervously, with Gabriel Rupanu getting in for the opening try inside the first five minutes.
Ireland responded right away through Jamison Gibson-Park, before subsequent tries from Tadhg Beirne and Hugo Keenan gave them control.
Romania ended the half with 14-men following a yellow card to Marius Simionescu, with the terrific
…. to be continued
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