Ireland, Australia and Italy pick emphatic wins in Rugby World Cup

Australia in a world Cup action. Photo/World Cup/

Full-back Ben Donaldson scored 25 points as Australia put a run of five successive defeats behind them to open their Pool C campaign with a bonus-point victory over Georgia at Stade de France.

Early tries for centre Jordan Petaia and wing Mark Nawaqanitawase and three Donaldson penalties made it 21-3 before the Wallabies lost scrum-half Tate McDermott to a head injury.

Georgia had wing Miriani Modebadze sin-binned just before half-time but scored in his absence as Luka Matkava’s lovely cut-out pass put flanker Luka Ivanishvili over in the left corner.

But as Los Lelos threatened again, Taniela Tupou intercepted Davit Niniashvili’s offload to send Donaldson sprinting clear and the full-back secured the bonus point with his second try from Carter Gordon’s pass before Georgia claimed a late score via Beka Gigashvili to the delight of the 75,770 crowd.

Ireland pick emphatic win

Ireland kicked off their World Cup campaign with a convincing 82-8 beating of Romania in Bordeaux on Saturday, with captain Johnny Sexton’s 24 points – including two tries – helping him become Ireland’s leading all-time Rugby World Cup points scorer.

Romania drew first blood in the third minute after Hinckley Vaovasa scooped up an Irish kick to send Gabriel Rupanu over in the corner, but Ireland responded almost immediately with the first of five first-half tries coming two minutes later via Jamison Gibson-Park. 

Hugo Keenan, Tadhg Beirne, Bundee Aki and Sexton also crossed the line in the opening half for Ireland.

Ireland dominated the scoreboard in the second half with another seven tries courtesy of Rob Herring, Player-of-the-Match Peter O’Mahony (2), Sexton – who went off in the 65th minute to rapturous applause from the mostly Irish crowd – Joe McCarthy, Aki and Beirne.

Italy secure win

Italy secured a 52-8 bonus-point win against Pool A opponents Namibia at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in Saint-Étienne on Saturday.

Back-row forward Lorenzo Cannone scored the first of their seven tries after Namibian hooker Torsten van Jaarsveld was shown a yellow card. Fly-half Paolo Garbisi also went over and a penalty from full-back Tommaso Allan gave Italy a 17-8 half-time lead, with Gerswin Mouton having crossed for Namibia.

Italy dominated the scoreboard in the second half with tries from second-row Dino Lamb, wing Ange Capuozzo, hooker Hame Faiva, back-row Manuel Zuliani and centre Paolo Odogwu.

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