‘Stop the count!’ – Romania stun Ireland with early try after Johnny Sexton kick

Jared Wright
Gabriel Rupanu scoring for Romania against Ireland.

Gabriel Rupanu scoring for Romania against Ireland.

Romania shocked Ireland with a try just two minutes into their Rugby World Cup opener after a poor kick from Johnny Sexton.

World number one Ireland are clear favourites to win their Rugby World Cup opener against Romania, ranked 19th.

However, it was the Eastern Europeans who opened the scoring after a sluggish start from Andy Farrell’s side.

Romania cleared from their own 22 and stole the resulting lineout.

A bit of kick-tennis ensued before Sexton tried to launch an attack from deep with a grubber through.

However, Romania fly-half Hinckley Vaovasa read it perfectly and beat Keith Earls to the ball, drew in the last covering tackle before sending Gabriel Rupanu through.

The scrum-half sprinted away for a brilliant start for the Oaks as they marked their return to the World Cup in style.

Stop the count

Fans and pundits were quick to respond to the try on X, formerly Twitter, to celebrate with the Romanians.

There were several calls for the officials to ‘Stop the count!’

Journalist Bobby Bridge said that moments like that is what makes World Cups special.

His post read: “Wonderful start from Romania, the Rugby World Cup needs more moments like that – they could’ve had more if it wasn’t for Keith Earls getting away with a pretty clear no release in his own 22 at the breakdown.”

Nelson Dale added: “Romania lead the best team in the world!” What a moment for The Oaks!

Another fan simply noted, ‘Beautiful try by Romania!!!!’

Meanwhile, Opta confirmed just how close the Oaks were to scoring the quickest try against Ireland in a World Cup try.

@OptaJonny post read: “2:11 – Romania’s opening try was the 2nd earliest try Ireland have conceded in a @rugbyworldcup match (02:11), after @ShaneWilliams11’s effort for Wales in the 2011 quarter-final, which was just one second quicker. Instant.”

Ireland quickly responded with Jamison Gibson-Park tearing through the Romanian defence in the fifth minute, with Sexton’s conversion putting his side ahead.

READ MORE: Seven-try Italy put 50 past plucky Namibia in Saint-Etienne