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‘We’ll take that’ – Ireland beat Romania 82-8 in Pool B opener

BORDEAUX – Ireland beat Romania in Pool B opener at 82-8 Stade de Bordeaux.

Ireland kicked off their World Cup campaign with a convincing 82-8 beating of Romania in Bordeaux on Saturday, with captain Johnny Sexton’s 24 points – including two tries – helping him become Ireland’s leading all-time Rugby World Cup points scorer.

Romania drew first blood in the third minute after Hinckley Vaovasa scooped up an Irish kick to send Gabriel Rupanu over in the corner, but Ireland responded almost immediately with the first of five first-half tries coming two minutes later via Jamison Gibson-Park.

Hugo Keenan, Tadhg Beirne, Bundee Aki and Sexton also crossed the line in the opening half for Ireland.

Ireland dominated the scoreboard in the second half with another seven tries courtesy of Rob Herring, Player-of-the-Match Peter O’Mahony (2), Sexton – who went off in the 65th minute to rapturous applause from the mostly Irish crowd – Joe McCarthy, Aki and Beirne.

“Credit to Romania,” Ireland flanker and Mastercard Player of the Match, Peter O’Mahony, said: “You saw the way they rocked up. In the first two or three minutes they put us under the sticks. It was a right wake-up call for us – ‘welcome to World Cup 2023’, you know what I mean?

“But it was a pleasure coming out here today. The fans here – off-the-wall stuff, and 80 points in our first one, we’ll take that.”

BORDEAUX, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 09: Gabriel Rupanu of Romania plays a pass ahead of Joe McCarthy of Ireland during the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between Ireland and Romania at Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux on September 09, 2023 in Bordeaux, France. (Photo by Adam Pretty – World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)
BORDEAUX, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 09: James Lowe of Ireland is tackled by Marius Simionescu of Romania during the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between Ireland and Romania at Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux on September 09, 2023 in Bordeaux, France. (Photo by Adam Pretty – World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)
BORDEAUX, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 09: Alin Conache of Romania plays a pass ahead of Ronan Kelleher of Ireland during the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between Ireland and Romania at Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux on September 09, 2023 in Bordeaux, France. (Photo by Adam Pretty – World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)
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