JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Ireland down Italy to reach World Cup quarter-final


Ireland 36 Italy 6

Keith Earls touches down dramatically. Click for more photos

Clinical Ireland see off Italy in style

Ireland smash Italy to top their Pool for the first time in their World Cup history. They blasted the Italians away in the second-half by three tries to zero, and go through to a quarter final with old enemies Wales. Photo: Reuters

Ireland advanced into the quarter-finals of the World Cup with a crushing 36-6 victory over Italy in their winner-takes-all clash at the Otago Stadium here Sunday.


Pool C winners Ireland will now face old rivals Wales in the knockout phase in Wellington on Saturday with Italy, in what was coach Nick Mallett's last game in charge, left searching for a first World Cup quarter-final appearance.

The win saw Ireland atone for their failure to reach the last eight in France four years ago and meant they capitalised on their shock 15-6 win over Australia earlier in the pool -- a result that would have gone to waste had Italy won this match.

Ireland were 12-6 up early in the second half when, within a matter of minutes, they put the result of what some had thought would be a close game beyond doubt with two tries -- a reward for besting Italy up front and having far more threatening backs.

Brian O'Driscoll, the Ireland captain, crossed in the 47th minute after taking a pass from Tommy Bowe who, coming across from right wing to left, sliced through the Italian defence before delivering a well-timed inside pass to the centre.

And four minutes later left wing Keith Earls, 24 on Sunday, marked his birthday by finishing a sweeping move with a try in the far corner after good work by centre Gordon D'Arcy and blindside flanker Stephen Ferris.

Ronan O'Gara, who landed six out of seven placekicks for a match haul of 16 points before being replaced by rival fly-half Jonathan Sexton, a less reliable goalkicker, duly landed the conversion.

Ireland were now 26-6 in front and well on their way to a 16th successive Test win over Italy, whom they only beat 13-11 in this season's Six Nations thanks to O'Gara's late drop-goal in Rome in February.

Sexton added a penalty but by then the damage, led by lock Paul O'Connell in a fine Irish pack effort, had been done.

Bowe just failed, according to the video referee to touch down by the Italy posts in the final minute after the ball was hacked down field, as a brawl broke out near the Irish line.

But there was still time for Earls to set the seal on Ireland's victory with his second try, converted by Sexton, after the Irish ran the ball back the 22 drop-out.

Ireland dominated territory in the early stages while their pack kept pace with Italy's much vaunted scrum, which former Springbok boss Mallett had said was key to the Azzurri's hopes of victory.

But at half-time they were only 9-6 in front after a forward-dominated first half saw O'Gara kick three penalties to Mirco Bergamasco's two.

The Irish thought they had the game's first try when impressive openside flanker Sean O'Brien released Bowe in the 31st minute.

But South African referee Jonathan Kaplan disallowed the score for a forward pass to the audible disappointment of the massed ranks of Ireland fans in a near capacity 28,027 crowd at the indoor arena.

When O'Gara made it 9-6 five minutes before the interval, Ireland also had the satisfaction of seeing powerhouse prop Martin Castrogiovanni, the anchorman of Italy's scrum, limp off the field and out of the match.

IRELAND 36 (Keith Earls 2, Brian O’Driscoll tries Ronan O’Gara 2, Jonny Sexton cons O’Gara 4, Sexton pens) bt ITALY 6 (Mirco Bergamasco 2 pens) at Forsyth Barr Stadium. Referee: Jonathan Kaplan. Crowd: 28,027.


Related Coverage

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
View all

Follow Us on Facebook

Featured advertisers