Ireland rings starting XV changes

“The first two games against France and Ireland, once we knew the draw, it was about competing and showing everybody we can compete at this level”, Howells said.


“New Zealand have had the best squad every [World Cup] year and the vast majority of times it’s ended in failure for them”.

Ireland became cocky in the second quarter when it twice ignored kickable penalties for attacking lineouts, only to be stopped by the Romanians.

Joe Schmidt’s side will relocate to their St George’s Park base in Burton upon-Trent tomorrow and will spend the rest of the week in Staffordshire to prepare for their clash with Romania at Wembley Stadium on Sundayweek.

Romania too had experience on their side, with their XV boasting a record 728 caps as they sought to avoid the ignominy of going a second straight tournament without registering a pool stage win.

Zebo may not start next weekend but surely will have a part to play for Joe Schmidt’s side over the coming weeks.

Who put their hand up for Ireland?

“I don’t think you’re ever totally satisfied”.

The kick and the chase So many facets of rugby rely on a combination of factors working together to achieve a successful result.

And who can blame him in demanding more “combat”?

Similarly, an effective kicking game relies on accuracy from the kicker as well as energy and aggression from the chasers but these were elements that were lacking from Romania on Wednesday. “That’s the standard that any back in an Irish back line wants to reach”. Compare the absence of a Romanian kick-chase to the effort from Dulin, Noa Nakaitaci and Fulgence Ouedraogo just seconds later.

It’s all well and good turning up, but you have to make some noise.


“The whole World Cup is hinged around that, and if we win it the whole World Cup is all hinging around the next game”.

The Munster flyer dribbled down the left wing to round Adrian Apostol, scooping up before sneaking into the corner. Their defence was also much improved, with their missed tackle count just 14. Danut Dumbrava played fullback for Romania in 2003 but was not in the matchday 23 for Sunday’s match.

Romania’s Csaba Gal was sin-binned for killing the ball on his own tryline and, from the scrum, Bowe slid home for the bonus-point score, Reddan’s runaround exploiting the man advantage. A theme that was repeated throughout the match.

Romania fell apart and made Ireland look good.

After Earls had successfully passed his pitchside concussion evaluation, replacement Paddy Jackson was taken out in mid-air by Florin Ionita.


Then he got down on one knee and popped the question – and as you can see from the video above, she said yes.

Irish fans invade Cardiff city centre