Tries from Rob Kearney, Peter O’Mahony, Rhys Ruddock, Andrew Conway and Garry Ringrose steered Ireland to a well-earned 35-0 bonus point win over Russia in their latest Rugby World Cup Pool A match.
A 28,856-strong crowd in Kobe watched Joe Schmidt’s men bounce back from last weekend’s loss to tournament hosts Japan. They have temporarily moved to the top of the table on 11 points, ahead of Japan’s meeting with Samoa on Saturday and the conclusion of the pool stages next week.
Out-half Jonathan Sexton, who captained Ireland for the first time, said: “We are delighted to get a good win and get back on the horse after last week and to also pick up the bonus point, which was exactly what we were looking for tonight. Pleased to keep them at zero because they’re a very well-organised team and they made life difficult for us at times.
“It is incredible the support we have had and I can’t believe how many Irish were here tonight. The conditions were difficult – the ball was very slippery and we’re just pleased to get the five points and we have plenty to work on. We still have a big game against Samoa to finish off.”