Ireland's Donnacha Ryan grabs onto Russia captain Alexander
Yanyushkin during their Rugby World Cup Pool C match at
Rotorua International Stadium in Rotorua. REUTERS/Bogdan
Keith Earls grabbed a brace as Ireland ran in nine tries
to beat a spirited Russia side 62-12 today and remain firmly on
track to top Pool C and claim a place in the World Cup
Maintaining the momentum from their upset victory over
Australia last week, the Irish secured a bonus point with
three tries in three minutes at the end of the second half
against a Russian team playing its third game in 11 days.
Centre Earls crossed for his second try eight minutes into
the second half to help ensure Ireland would go into their
final Pool C game against Italy next weekend with three wins
from three games.
Experienced flyhalf O'Gara was outstanding for Ireland,
kicking seven from eight with the boot and marshaling a
backline which had been overhauled from last week's Eden Park
"A few guys got an opportunity this week to back up the
performances of the weekend," said Ireland captain Leo
Cullen. "It was important to continue the momentum. We will
take the win and move on."
Russia, who have now lost all three matches on their World
Cup debut, battled manfully to stem the green tide and got
reward for their efforts with second half tries from fullback
Vasily Artemyev and winger Denis Simplikevich.
"I want to thank all my team mates and management for their
efforts they have put in," said Russia fullback Artemyev, who
represented Ireland at schoolboy level.
"It is good to get the games of this level as the intensity
we get here is nothing like we have faced before."
O'Gara had already converted a penalty when his opposite
number Konstantin Rachkov was sin-binned in the eighth minute
for a deliberate knock on.
Ireland took full advantage of their numerical superiority
and winger McFadden slid across the wet turf to gather
O'Gara's cross-kick in the 10th minute before flanker Sean
O'Brien crashed through the defence for a second try three
The Irish attack then stalled and the spirited Russians
carved out a few chances of their own but the three-try blitz
at the end of the half ended the match as a contest.
New Zealand-born scrumhalf Isaac Boss inched over from close
range for the first, livewire winger Andrew Trimble's break
put Earls in for the second and Trimble added the third
himself on the stroke of halftime.
Earls carved his way through the defence to cross for his
second eight minutes into the second half and when O'Gara
kicked his fifth conversion, the Irish were leading 43-0.
The Russians finally got some reward for their brave
performance two minutes later when fullback Vasily Artemyev
scythed through the Irish defence to touch down.
The noisy Russian element in the largely green-clad crowd of
25,000 were back on their feet nine minutes later when winger
Denis Simplikevich bulldozed his way across the try line in
The fightback was short-lived, however, and Ireland hammered
home their superiority with tries in the last 15 minutes from
Rob Kearney, replacement flanker Shane Jennings and prop Tony