Planet Rugby

Ireland put Fiji to the sword

Stephen Ferris Boko Ireland v FIji

Wrestle Mania: Stephen Ferris goes to work in the trenches

21st November 2009 19:16

Share:

Keith Earls Try Fiji

Ireland brace: Keith Earls

Ireland eased their way past Fiji 41-6 at the Royal Dublin Showground on Saturday, running in five tries with Jonathan Sexton converting all of them in what was a sublime kicking display from the Irish debutant.

Centre Keith Earls bagged a double as the Six Nations warmed up for next weekend's big Test against South Africa in style.

The hosts only led 13-3 at the break but a try from Brian O'Driscoll five minutes into the second period sparked a glut of points for Declan Kidney's side.

Earls, full-back Rob Kearney and Shane Horgan added further scores after the break while Sexton's 100 per cent record with the boot earned him a personal 16-point haul.

Fiji fly-half Nicky Little scored his side's only points with a penalty either side of the break.

Sexton, making his debut at fly-half, put Ireland 3-0 ahead with a penalty after eight minutes as both sides took time to get to grips with the conditions.

A perfectly judged cross-kick from Sexton then almost brought about the first try. Earls gathered the loose ball and fed Kearney but he was stopped just short of the line.

Ireland did not have to wait long for a try however, Earls going over beside the posts after taking Eoin Reddan's pass following a scrum. Sexton's conversion put Ireland 10-0 clear.

Eventually Fiji began to secure some better possession, allowing Little to reduce the deficit to 10-3 with a well-struck penalty.

The visitors did well to hang in as Ireland were giving them increasing problems in the scrums, but the home team failed to take advantage and were then forced to defend close to their own line.

Fortunately, another big scrum which saw them push Fiji off their own ball relieved the pressure. It was only then that Ireland really began to open up.

Once again Sexton was involved, breaking out from his own half, but the move finished with Gordon D'Arcy's pass being intercepted by Fiji full-back Norman Ligairi.

But the pressure told just before half-time with Sexton landing his second penalty to leave Ireland 13-3 clear at the interval.

To add to Ireland's problems, flanker Denis Leamy had to be stretchered off with an injury to his right leg. Leinster tyro Sean O'Brien came on to make his debut at this level.

Fiji then conceded a frustrating try as Little saw O'Driscoll intercept his pass and run 40 metres to score with Sexton's conversion giving Ireland a 20-6 advantage and some breathing space.

With Tomas O'Leary on as a replacement at scrum-half for Reddan and Tony Buckley taking over from John Hayes in the front row, Ireland looked for more scores as the game went into the final quarter and the crowd was soon rewarded with a third try.

A well-worked move - the ball travelled smoothly along from O'Leary, O'Driscoll and D'Arcy - was finished off in the left corner by Earls.

Sexton kicked the difficult conversion, leaving Ireland 27-6 clear and in complete control.

Kearney, who did well to get the ball down under pressure from Mosese Rauluni, and Horgan, whose workmanlike performance deserved a try, added further touchdowns with the accurate Sexton landing both conversions from the touchline.

The second half against Fiji certainly saw Ireland find an extra gear or two in attack and Kidney and company will have some welcome selection headaches to work through before announcing the team to face the Springboks.

Man of the match: Keith Earls crossed for two tries but fly-half Jonny Sexton claims this man of the match honour with an accomplished display on his way to a personal tally of 16 points.

Moment of the match: Without taking anything away from Ireland's four try-scorers, it was the conversions that really caught the eye. Sexton's three goals from the touchline were pure class, and really brought some sunshine to the rain-soaked crowd.

Villain of the match: The rain. Had it been clear skies, we're pretty sure both sides could have contributed a few more tries.

The scorers:

For Ireland:
Tries: Earls 2, Horgan, Kearney, O'Driscoll
Cons: Sexton 5
Pens: Sexton 2

For Fiji:
Pens: Little 2

Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Shane Horgan, 13 Brian O'Driscoll (c), 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Denis Leamy, 6 Stephen Ferris, 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Leo Cullen, 3 John Hayes, 2 Jerry Flannery, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Tony Buckley, 18 Donncha O'Callaghan, 19 Sean O'Brien, 20 Tomas O'Leary, 21 Paddy Wallace, 22 Andrew Trimble.

Fiji: 15 Norman Ligairi, 14 Vereniki Goneva, 13 Gabiriele Lovobalavu, 12 Seremaia Bai (c), 11 Nasoni Roko, 10 Nicky Little, 9 Mosese Rauluni, 8 Asaeli Boko, 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Apolosi Satala; 5 Ifereimi Rawaqa, 4 Wame Lewaravu, 3 Viliame Seuseu, 2 Viliame Veikoso, 1 Asaike Tarogi.
Replacements: 16 Isireli Ledua, 17 Graham Dewes, 18 Leone Nakarawa, 19 Samu Bola, 20 Waisale Vatuvoka, 21 Josh Matavesi, 22 Timoci Nagusa

Referee: Marius Jonker (South

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs Montpellier20:45
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Castres vs Bay Of Plenty18:30
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs Sharks19:10
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western Province17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Preview
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay14:35
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs Waikato19:35
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00