The contest broke the attendance record for a Rugby World Cup game with 89,267 watching inside the stadium, yet it was a straightforward and somewhat facile victory.
Henshaw has only just returned to full training having missed the wins over Canada and Romania with a hamstring injury and there is need to give that midfield combination a run together ahead of the decisive final pool clash with France. Joe Schmidt and his coaching team will appreciate the headaches.
McNulty is available to any player who wishes to avail of his services and Bowe has certainly seen the benefits of his counsel.
Ireland: Zebo, Bowe, Payne, Cave, Earls, Madigan, Reddan, Healy, Strauss, White, Ryan, Toner, Murphy, Henry, Heaslip, R. Kearney. “We did that against Scotland and some of the chat this week was if we can try and approach this game with a similar sort of mind set in attack then we would get a few more tries”, he said.
“It was great to get back out and see the ball being moved about”. Unlucky to have early try ruled out. However it is quite another to try to find a way of competing in what he would have hoped would be another five matches of the highest intensity wondering who can reinforce the reinforcements.
On further inspection Zebo was rightly deemed out of touch before getting anywhere near the corner, however. Madigan failed for once to land the extras to leave the Irish leading 37-3.
Ireland may have had an average age of 29 years and 245 days, and Romania an average of 102 days older, but both played with guts and gusto on Sunday (Monday morning) as Schmidt’s side leapfrogged France to top the group with a second bonus-point win. The Limerick man then sprinted untouched for the score. The morning after the match before and Ireland’s players were still riding it.
From the resultant line-out Ireland scored again.
Earls’ second touchdown after the break saw him equal Brian O’Driscoll’s Irish record of seven World Cup tries. From that penalty award, Ireland went for a scrum and this time they did go wide. That positivity received several boosts in the period following Bowe’s poor game against England, when opposing wing Jonny May rode roughshod over the Irishman on the way to the try line. By keeping the ball alive and moving it fast, they began to test the conditioning of their opponents.
Kearney made an impactful chargedown straight away, and from the pressure exerted Romania inside centre Csaba Gal was yellow-carded.
“They are allowed to enter and for an hour they suffer disgusting losses, their ranks reduced until it seems they can not possibly cope, among the stricken two representatives from the same tribe who had taken the places of previously fallen heroes”.