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Ireland get the required result but don’t impress against Russia

World Cup, Pool A:
Ireland 35, Russia 0
IRELAND got the result they required but for most of the game they were way below the standard required if they were to be serious title contenders. Everything pointed to a sizeable score when they went 14-0 up but a combination of knock-ons, poor options, turnovers and the admirable defensive efforts of the Russians made this a frustrating 80 minutes for today’s red hot favourites.
Two tries in the opening 16 minutes, both converted by Jonathan Sexton, sent Ireland on their way today in Kolbe. Rob Kearney scored the first one, evading a tackle to make the line which gave his side the perfect start. The second try also came from a concerted effort from the Irish pack. Russia coughed up possession outside their own 22, Sexton prodded the ball through a gap and Peter O’Mahony picked and dived over.
Russia had a few opportunities in that first half, particularly when they forced a five metre lineout, only to spoil their effort with a crooked throw.
Six minutes before the break Ireland added try number three, John Ryan propelling Rhys Ruddock over the line. Sexton added all three conversions.
Green fans may have expected a bucket of tries in the second half but even though Russia twice lost men to the bin, Ireland struggled to add to their first half try count. With the Russians tiring, tries from Andrew Conway and Garry Ringrose, Carty adding the two conversions, completed a Pyrric victory for Ireland.
On this performance Ireland will want to show massive improvement if they are to get the required victory over Samoa on Saturday week. Hopefully the nine day rest will contribute.
Ireland: Rob Kearney, Andrew Conway, Garry Ringrose, Bundee Aki, Keith Earls; Johnny Sexton (capt), Luke McGrath; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, John Ryan; Jean Kleyn Tadhg Beirne; Rhys Ruddock, Peter O’Mahony, Jordi Murphy.
Replacements: Sean Cronin, Andrew Porter, Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson, CJ Stander, Conor Murray, Jack Carty, Jordan Larmour.
Russia: Vasily Artemyev (capt), German Davydov, Igor Galinovskiy, Kirill Golosnitskiy, Denis Simplikevich, Ramil Gaisin, Dmitry Perov; Andrei Polivalov, Evgeny Matveev, Kirill Gotovtsev, Andrey Garbuzov, Bogdan Fedotko, Anton Sychev, Tagir Gadzhiev.
Replacements: Stanislav Selskii, Valery Morozov, Vladimir Podrezov, Andrey Ostrikov, Evgeny Elgin, Sergey Ianiushkin, Roman Khodin, Vladimir Ostroushko.

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