17 Jun, 19:25
Ireland pulled clear of hosts Canada with four tries in the closing half hour as they earned a 40-14 victory at the BMO Stadium on Saturday night. Check out some photos from the Toronto tussle.
There was praise for Ronan O'Gara, who has landed 16 out of 19 place-kicks so far, and his provincial colleagues Keith Earls - 'a versatile three-quarter full of menace' - and Paul O'Connell - 'a tireless workhorse in the loose as well as the set piece'.
Leinster duo Cian Healy and Jamie Heaslip were also singled out, the young prop being dubbed 'the star of an Irish front row that forced the Wallabies into submission, and later cowed the more distinguished Italian line-up'.
Number 8 Heaslip's dynamic form was acknowledged, his importance to the team being evident in that he 'did not put a foot wrong whilst playing every minute of the pool matches'.
However, their Player of Pool C award was bestowed upon Sean O'Brien, the reigning ERC European Player of the Year.
The in-form O'Brien, still just 24, stood out as 'despite performing in the unfamiliar openside position, he has been a rampaging ball of destruction in his first Rugby World Cup, whether in attack or defence'.
Meanwhile, RTÉ have confirmed that Ireland's 36-6 pool victory over Italy in Dunedin last Sunday attracted a huge TV audience despite the early morning start.
An average audience of 735,000* watched the match on RTÉ Two, with viewership peaking at 918,000** in the final minutes of what was a superb second half.
RTÉ Two's programme coverage attracted an average of 630,000*** viewers throughout the whole broadcast which was two hours and 45 minutes in duration.
Source: Nielsen TV Audience Measurement
* Actual match (8.30am-10.15am) average viewers - Live + VOSDAL
** One minute peak viewership - Live + VOSDOL
*** Average programme audience (8am-10.47am) - Live + VOSDAL
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