Sports Digest: Surging Ireland rugby team ready for Italy
“We started by taking the wind which was a big call because usually you always play into it. We tried to kill off the Russian threat and within 15 minutes we were 17-0 up, so that was a decision that went for us.”
Kidney was more than happy with how his team played even if they conceded two tries on the day.
“We’d be pleased. We probably went a bit asleep in the middle of both halves but we’re delighted with the win and to score that number of tries,” said Kidney.
“Every side you have to prepare for in a World Cup because you know teams will come at you fully. We had to go strong at the start of the first half -- and we did that -- and then we had a golden patch before halftime.
“Three tries in five or six minutes was good for us but we had to work for it and little bits we made hard for ourselves and the Russians scored two good tries against us.”
Italy set-up a mouth watering clash with Ireland in Dunedin on Sunday when they beat the USA 27-10 on Tuesday morning to trail Kidney’s team by three points in the table. Even if Ireland claim a losing bonus point on Sunday, Italy would still progress to the quarter-finals on the head-to-head rule.
“We know perfectly well we have a better front row than Ireland and we’re hoping to prove that on Sunday,” said Italian coach Nick Mallett. “If our front row put us on the front foot, we can win the game.”
Ireland's Rob Kearney, Keith Earls and Sean O’Brien all sat out training in Dunedin on Tuesday as a precaution but are expected to be fit for the game.
RUGBY: Full-back Isa Nacewa kicked five penalties as Leinster won 15-10 away to the Scarlets in the Celtic League last weekend. Connacht were 17-13 winners at the home to the dragons, and Munster won 18-13 in Cardiff but Ulster were beaten 32-14 away to the Ospreys . . .
GOLF: Over 80,000 fans flocked to Killeen Castle in County Meath over the weekend as Europe’s top female golfers shocked America in the Solheim Cup, winning for the first time in four attempts on a dramatic Sunday finale in Dunsany . . .
ATHLETICS: Irish walkers Robert Heffernan and Brendan Boyce achieved the Olympic qualification standard in the 50km walk in Nuamburg, Germany, on Sunday . . .
RUGBY: The IRFU have announced a reduction in ticket prices for next season’s Six Nations matches.
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