Ireland move to top of Pool A after blanking Russia 35-0

Rob Kearney scored the opening try for Ireland
Rob Kearney scored the opening try for Ireland

Ireland 35-0 Russia, Kobe Misaki Stadium

Ireland bounced back from their defeat against Japan as they blanked Russia 35-0 in their World Cup encounter at Kobe Misaki Stadium on Thursday.

This is Ireland's second win from three games as they go to the top of Pool A with 11 points while Russia are languishing at the bottom after suffering their third defeat.

Ireland made a late change to their matchday squad with Joey Carbery withdrawn due to discomfort in the ankle and was replaced on the bench by Conor Murray.

Joe Schmidt's side got off to a promising start as Rob Kearney scored his third try in three successive games after grabbing an inside pass from Jordi Murphy that was converted by Johnny Sexton to take them to a 7-0 lead.

Sexton played a pivotal role in Ireland's second try that came in the 13th minute as his grubber kick was collected by Peter O'Mahony as he dived over the line. The Irish playmaker also improved it as they doubled their tally. Russia suffered a setback when Kirill Golosnitskiy was carried off the field with a leg injury in his desperate effort to prevent O'Mahony from scoring.

Ireland had their injury woes with Murphy leaving the field in the 27th minute and was replaced by CJ Stander. Just over the half-hour mark, Russia were reduced to 14-men temporarily when Bogdan Fedotko was sin-binned for this third infringement - this time for rolling away.

Ireland capitalised on the numerical advantage and after good works from Kilcoyne and Stander, Rhys Ruddock crossed whitewash in the 35th minute and Sexton's third conversion meant the teams went into the break with a 21-0 scoreline.

Just as Russia returned to full strength with the return of Fedotko, they were down by one player again by the 51st minute for hitting John Ryan high with arm on the clearout. Even though Ireland failed to score this time, they went on to claim the bonus point in the 62nd minute when a chip shot from Carty found Keith Earls, who in turn offloaded to Andrew Conway as he crossed over.

Carty also kicked the extras making the scoreline 28-0 and with four minutes left in the game Garry Ringrose scored Ireland's fifth try as they sealed 35-0 win to keep their hope of quarter-finals alive.


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