Rugby World Cup - Ireland v Italy

Rugby World Cup - Ireland v Italy

IT Fri, Sep 30
 

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  • 07:46
    Ireland v Italy: Once more into the breach, dear friends, once more. This is it, the match Ireland have been preparing for since the World Cup draw was made many moons ago. It’s all-or-nothing, do-or-die, winner takes all in Dunedin.

    The scenario couldn’t be more straightforward. Win, and Ireland top the group and the path to a possible World Cup final opens up with a quarter-final against Wales (who have just beaten Fiji 66-0) next Saturday guaranteed. Lose, and flights home will need to be hastily arranged for tomorrow morning.

    Sure, there may be the safety net of a draw, or indeed the possibility of two losing bonus points being enough, but you can bet your bottom dollar that hasn’t been mentioned in any of the Irish team meetings this past week.

    With 15 straight wins over the Azzurri, it’s a match Ireland are certainly well capable of winning. At 1-10 , the bookies agree, although the margin of victory is likely to be slim with the turf accountants predicting in and around 13 points.

    It’s a game that is going to be won up front, with Ireland looking for parity against a fearsome Italian scrum. That said, it’s probably worth remembering that there were just five scrums when the sides met in the Six Nations last February and the importance of the set-piece can occasionally be overplayed.

    Nailing our colours to the mast, we’re going for an Ireland win, 33-10.
  • 07:56

    Team news:  Paul O’Connell has hardly trained this week, even sitting out the Captain’s Run yesterday, but the second row’s influence is crucial and he will lead the Irish pack.

    Behind the scrum, the well-being of Brian O’Driscoll’s shoulder remains the elephant in the room and after a couple of shaky defensive displays it will be interesting to see how he holds up.

    The Italians, meanwhile, have been busy getting their retaliation in first, with Martin Castrogiovanni and replacement ouothalf Riccardo Bocchino going at it in front of the cameras yesterday. The fighting spirit pleased captain Sergio Parisse, the number eight particularly impressed with Bocchino’s cojones.

    Ireland: Kearney; Bowe, O’Driscoll, D’Arcy, Earls; O’Gara, Murray; Healy, Best, Ross; O’Callaghan, O’Connell; Ferris, O’Brien, Heaslip. Replacements: Cronin, Court, Ryan, Leamy, Reddan, Sexton, Trimble.

    Italy: Masi; Benvenuti, Canale, Garcia, M. Bergamasco; Orquera, Semenzato; Perugini, Ghiraldini, Castrogiovanni; Geldenhuys, van Zyl, Zanni, M. Bergamasco, Parisse. Replacements: Ongaro, Lo Cicero, Bortolami, Derbyshire, Gori, Bocchino, McLean.

  • 07:57
    Castrogiovanni and Bocchino get down and dirty yesterday
    Castrogiovanni and Bocchino get down and dirty yesterday
  • 08:04
    Around the grounds: Away from the Irish camp, New Zealand is in state of chassis with the news that Dan Carter has been ruled out of the rest of the tournament with a groin injury. The All Blacks didn’t miss their pivot in this morning’s 79-15 victory over Canada but tougher tests lie ahead.

    Elsewhere, Argentina booked their place in the last eight with a 25-7 win over Georgia, the result condemning Scotland to an early exit as England and the Pumas emerge from Pool B.
  • 08:15
  • 08:15

    TV View: While the New Zealand television reporter already congratulated Wales captain Sam Warburton on making it through to a quarter-final against Ireland, George Hook, is making no such leap of faith over on RTE.

    George, as is his wont, is worried.

    “We always knew it would come down to this. The gunfight at the Dunedin corral . . . this battle will be won not by the six guns in the back row, but by the blunderbusses in the front row.” Quite

    Spare a though for Matt and Franno over on Setanta, who are surviving on fumes at this stage.

  • 08:21
    crashg @matt and franno
  • 08:21
    crashg brilliant!
  • 08:27
    8.28am: The three wise men in Montrose are in agreement that Ireland should, and probably will win. “It will be a bit of a white knuckle ride,” cautions Conor O’Shea, but the Harlequins coach is confident Declan Kidney’s side will prevail by about 10 points.

    Over in Dunedin, conditions won’t have a bearing on today’s result with the game being played in the Otago Stadium conservatory. It's another full house for an Ireland game and we’re almost good to go here.
  • 08:32
    1 min: Jonathan Kaplan, who owes us one after his blunder at the Millennium Stadium earlier this year, gives the nod and Ronan O’Gara gets things underway. Thankfully, there's no issues with the RTE commentary this week with all as it should be.
  • 08:34
    2 mins: We haven’t had to wait too long for the first scrum, with Italy winning the breakdown and getting the put-in. And Ireland win that engagement, first blood to the Irish pack.
  • 08:36
    4 mins: Actually, scratch what I said about the RTE commentary. Instead of being ahead of the pictures, there’s now a lag with Hugh Cahill’s commentary a couple of seconds behind. On the pitch, Ireland win another scrum with Ross dominating Perugini.
  • 08:39
    6 mins: Ireland, going through the phases, trying to suck in the Italian defence but can find no way through at the moment. In the meantime Gonzalo Canale is penalised for taking out Gordon D’Arcy and O’Gara elects to have a go at the posts.
  • 08:40
    7 mins – Ireland 3 Italy 0: From wide on the left, the outhalf strikes it perfectly and Ireland get the points their early pressure has deserved.
  • 08:43
    10 mins – Ireland 3 Italy 3: After Sean O’Brien spills the restart, the Italians get the better of Ireland in the scrum with Healy warned to keep it up. After being re-set Ireland are penalised and Mirco Bergamasco has a straightforward kick at goal . . . and the winger makes no mistake.
  • 08:46
    13 mins: Rob Kearney probes the Italian defensive line and when he is eventually brought down, Alessandro Zanni lies all over the ball. Kaplan pings the flanker for slowing the Irish ball down but O’Gara’s kick at goal comes back off the upright.
  • 08:50
    17 mins - Ireland 6 Italy 3: This is good pressure from Ireland, Murray sniping out the back of a lineout and when the ball is spread wide Keith Earls is just bundled into touch in the corner. From the resulting lineout, Italy fail to get the basics right and O’Gara is gifted another shot at goal. This time the outhalf takes advantage, nudging Ireland back in front.
  • 08:54
    20 mins – Ireland 6 Italy 6: Italy finally put some width on the ball and Murray if forced to concede a lineout five metres from the Irish line. The Italian pack stick it up their jumper and Castrogiovanni is stopped just inches from the line. But O’Callaghan had pulled down the maul and Bergamasco is able to level things up once more. Worringly for Ireland, every time Italy make it into the Irish 22 they’re coming away with points.
  • 08:57
    22 mins: Cian Healy is gouged at a ruck by Ghiraldini and despite his protests, the Italian escapes. Kaplan missed the incident but the replays clearly show fingers in Healy's eyes. Disgraceful play from the Italian hooker.
  • 09:02
    26 mins: O’Connell comes through the maul from the wrong side and Italy are able to set up camp deep in Irish territory. This time they knock-on, and the Irish scrum is solid. Murray breaks off the base and Ireland are into the Italian 22 all of a sudden.
  • 09:02
    27 mins: But O'Driscoll spills the pass, which looked a touch forward in any case, and Italy get the put-in.
  • 09:06
    30 mins: The Italian scrum splinters, but Kaplan allows it go. Ireland win the ball back at the breakdown, O'Brien draws in the cover and Bowe juggles the pass before racing in under the posts. Kaplan, though, is not happy and calls play back for a forward pass/knockon?? Poor decision from the South African, as there was nothing wrong with that passage of play.
  • 09:10
    35 mins – Ireland 9 Italy 6: Kearney comes into the line again, and again earns another shot at goal with the Italians failing to roll away after finally bringing the fullback to ground. O’Gara makes no mistake with the kick.  Castrogiovanni, meanwhile, is off for a basket of chips, the Italian prop unable to continue.
  • 09:12
    38 mins: Huge moment for the Irish scrum, who shunt the Italians backwards and earn a relieving penalty. For all the pre-match hype, it’s been pretty much even in the trenches.
  • 09:14
    39 mins: Bowe loses the ball forward, and Ghiraldini makes inroads into the Irish defence before Heaslip coughs up a penalty at the breakdown. Bergamasco loses his 100 per cent record though, as he hits the post from distance and O’Brien clears.
  • 09:17
    Half-time – Ireland 9 Italy 6: The Italian maul puts the Irish defence under huge pressure and Ireland concede the penalty under their posts. But Mauro Bergamasco threw a couple of digs off the ball and the penalty is reversed, allowing Ireland to boot it into touch for the last act of the first half.
  • 09:21
    eoin from Zambia Go on Ireland!
  • 09:23
    A bit of a mixed bag in that first half from an Irish perspective. Ireland well worth their lead and Tommy Bowe should have had a under the posts. But while the Italian scum has been neutered, their maul is extremely threatening and needs to be countered if Ireland are to survive.
  • 09:23
    Guest Get in Ireland, Colm.. Italy...
  • 09:23
    Sean OhOgain from china - Go Ireland
  • 09:23
    Ant in Sydney The nerves. C'mon Ireland.
  • 09:26
    The camera cuts to the Irish dressing room, where Les Kiss is laying down the law. Plenty of food for thought for Ireland’s defensive coach.
  • 09:26
    crashg is it to early for a snort? me nerves§./?
  • 09:26
    Rob From Brazil- Go on Ireland!
  • 09:26
    Guest Good morning from France! COME ON IRELAND!
  • 09:26
    C Italian scum? Now we're talking!
  • 09:26
    liam in dubai comon ireland, we want it bad enough we can taste it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 09:26
    Chaz Someone just started #FerrisNorris on Twitter- comparing Ferris to Chuck Norris! "Stephen Ferris does origami with dried concrete"
  • 09:28
    40 mins: Ireland keep their opponents waiting on the pitch, biding their time before coming back out.  Riccardo Bocchino is on for Orquera, and the replacement outhalf gets us back underway.
  • 09:28
    Liam and Niamh From Fiji tight game needs a try in first 5 mins
  • 09:32
    43 mins – Ireland 12 Italy 6: Ireland content to run at the opposition, and indiscipline at the breakdown again costs Italy with lo Cicero refusing to roll away. From 40 metres, O’Gara makes it four out of five with the placed ball and earns a little bit of wriggle room for Ireland.
  • 09:32
    Steve Hope my flight is delayed so I can see the full game
  • 09:34
    45 mins: Ferris makes the hard yards, scattering defenders, and O’Gara calls for the drop goal. But the pivot scuffs that effort badly wide and the lead remains at six points.
  • 09:34
    Barry A try or two around this stage of the game would be nice :)
  • 09:35
    Guest Wish I had a wiggle room.
  • 09:35
    Ant in Sydney Good coverage thanks. Keep it coming.
  • 09:37
    47 mins – Ireland 19 Italy 6: And there’s the try Ireland’s ambition deserves. Bowe scythes through the Italian line and picks out his captain with the perfect try-scoring pass to allow O’Driscoll scamper home from close range. O’Gara converts and there’s now clear daylight between the sides.
  • 09:39
    50 mins: Another huge scrum from Ireland, and Perugini can’t cope with Healy, breaking his bind and conceding the penalty.
  • 09:42
    52 mins: Ireland 26 Italy 6: Another try from Ireland! D’Arcy makes the line break, bulldozing his way through the Italian defence before Ferris is held up close to the line. With quick ball, Ireland go right, then left and Ferris is again on hand to shovel out the try-scoring pass to Earls. O’Gara again converts, this time from the touchline, and this game is as good as over.
  • 09:42
    neil fine play by Ireland now
  • 09:42
    Barry Called it :) Now another one, please and thanks.
  • 09:42
    Catherine Brilliant stuff
  • 09:43
    Galley Leo At last the scoreline doesn't look like a pair of busted headlights.
  • 09:45
    56 mins: The Italian scrum is in disarray. Didn’t think I’d be writing those words when I was having my corn flakes this morning. Another penalty at the set-piece allows Ireland to establish field position, Healy punches the hole and Ireland work it wide to Kearney who is just about held up in the corner. No try, but more excellent play from the men in green.
  • 09:46
    eoin from Zambia excellent!
  • 09:46
    Bernard IT Liveblogger: Don't jinx it! :)
  • 09:46
    liam in dubai fantastic,keep it up ireland. my hearts thumping now!!!
  • 09:46
    Michael in Melbourne Wish I was there, great pressure
  • 09:46
    Barry And there it is. Well done, lads.
  • 09:48
    58 mins: Have no intention of jinxing anything Bernard, just calling it as I see it. Having said that, Italy win one against the head but the Irish pressure is now relentless. Can’t help wondering how much the short turnaround time is hurting Italy.
  • 09:48
    Isac Oldton You're right, Leo. That blue light is fading fast.
  • 09:48
    liam in dubai jesus, whats happen lads. relying on texts here. in work and not allowed watch tv!!!!!!!!
  • 09:48
    neil Thailand Great Game well done lads
  • 09:50
    59 mins: Gordon D’Arcy is taken out of it in a cynical hit by Parisse. The centre needs attention but is able to continue. O’Connell, meanwhile, is wrapped in cotton wool with Ryan coming in to the action.        
  • 09:53
    62 mins: Ireland deploy the choke tackle, the first time we’ve seen it today, but Italy manage to get the ball to ground. But the Italians are unable to clear their lines for long. I honestly can’t recall Italy playing any rugby in Irish territory in this second half.
  • 09:53
    Barry This is the real danger in this sort of game - the loosing side gets frustrated and plays dirty.
  • 09:56
    64 mins: Italy go to the maul, but fail to use the ball in time and Ireland get the scrum. There’s a bit of afters between the front rows, with Healy getting dragged in to a scrap with Perugini.
  • 09:56
    Samuel Johnson Barry... please... the LOSING side. That mistake is going viral.
  • 09:56
    Aoife in DC i think it's more nerve-wracking 'watching' it on the live blog!
  • 09:58
    66 mins: A series of scrums sees Italy win the penalty and the Azzurri, unsurprisingly, go for the corner. The lineout is botched, however, and that’s a chance of points wasted.
  • 10:00
    68 mins: Kidney sends on Sexton, with O’Gara receiving the plaudits after a job well done. A huge kick from Bergamasco keeps Italy in the Irish half but Ireland have the lineout and Sexton is able to punt it forward.
  • 10:00
    Bill Shakespeare Quite right, Samuel. Bad spelling is worse than the pox.
  • 10:00
    Guest Colm O Driscoll, Italy; I agree Aoife, wish they would show it on live TV here, but the motogp is on instead... come on Ireland!!!
  • 10:00
    Barry Hey SJ .... it's 5.00am here in Toronto. I can barely keep my eyes open never mind watch my spelling :)
  • 10:02
    70 mins – Ireland 29 Italy 6: Tommy Bowe is impeded chasing down Sexton’s kick and the replacement is afforded his first kick at goal. I read in his blog during the week that he’s ironed the kinks out of his kicking technique . . . and so it proves as he sends it sailing over the posts.
  • 10:03
    Steve Perth This is a surprisingly interesting way of following the game
  • 10:04
    Paul in D.C. Ireland 29 Ireland 6?! What an exciting development!
  • 10:05
    73 mins: Fair cop Paul, that's changed now! Italy are now pressing on the Irish line, looking for a consolation but Ireland hold firm and earn a relieving scrum.
  • 10:07
    74 mins: Kidney empties the bench, bringing in Leamy, Reddan and Court. No harm in that tactic as there is little sense in risking injuries at this late stage.
  • 10:07
    Steve Perth Ireland beating itself up again, whats new
  • 10:07
    Ant in Sydney The Aussies won't be pleased as they face South Africa in the quarters now. They still don't believe that they lost to Ireland.
  • 10:10
    76 mins: Italy continue to press, but to no avail. Ireland happy to concede penalties but don’t look like having their whitewash breached.
  • 10:10
    Samuel Pepys At least 40 points are necessary for intimidation -- take it into "thanks for the memories" territory. Relieving Kidney is one thing, emptying the bowels is quite another.
  • 10:13
    79 mins: Reddan almost forces the turnover, but is swallowed up by the Italian pack and Italy get one last scrum. This looks like Italy’s last chance to get more points on the board.
  • 10:16
    79 mins: Bowe denied another score, the flying winger tackled without the ball just as he prepared to put the finishing touches on a remarkable one-man counter-attack. Again Kaplan missed the incident and the TMO somehow concludes there was no foul play.
  • 10:18
    80 mins – Ireland 36 Italy 6: But Ireland don’t have to wait long, Kearney again causing problems and Andrew Trimble supplying Keith Earls with the pass before he races away to score in the same corner. Sexton even manages the extras, and that’s that.
  • 10:19
    Bernard Samuel Pepys' comment should win a prize!
  • 10:19
    Ant in Sydney What's the injury toll for the Irish?
  • 10:19
    Oliver Cromwell Pepys, you old dog! You never did like the Welsh! See in in Axe Yard after the game. I have some sack.
  • 10:20
    Bernard Tommy Bowe you fast little barsteward! That should have been the try of the group.
  • 10:20
    Bernard 2 tries (granted one allowed) in, what, 10 seconds? What a great way to celebrate your birthday.
  • 10:20
    Bernard I think the TMO needs a TMO.
  • 10:20
    Ant in Sydney Aussie blogger can't believe that a penalty try was not given.
  • 10:20
    Sean OhOgain Thanks for your commentary. And great result
  • 10:23

    Full-time: So there you have it. Ireland will never have a better opportunity to reach the latter stages of the World Cup. Wales are first up next weekend. Beat them, and it’s England or France in the semis.

    “I’m absolutely bloody well delighted,” declares George Hook back in the studio. “Is that good enough for you.”

  • 10:40
    caitlin Brillant Ireland!( from the Basque Country)
  • 10:40
    Ant in Sydney Thanks for the commentary.
  • 10:40
    B.B. Queen Now who's got the blues?
  • 10:40
    Liam and Niamh In Fiji the sun has come up 10 hours early !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Great result tactics and team selection time for Kidney to have a Leek
  • 10:40
    eoin from Zambia wow...great result and great prospects! Cheers for the commentary....
  • 10:40
    Robert Johnson When the train left the station, it had two lights on behind: the blue light was the Italians, the red one was the Welsh. Both busted... as you will see next week.
  • 10:54
    andy paris why no pubs in Paris open to show the game??? Oh ye it is not the french team!!!!!!
  • 10:54
    andy paris Italy me arse..... kaplan as well!!!!! the welsh will win the singing...we of course will rise up and move onto the French!!!! Paris will be green
  • 10:57

    Brian O’Driscoll: “We’re delighted with the win. We knew we needed it and I’m glad we were able to deliver in the second half aided by what has been the best crowd we’ve played in front of so far.”

    “It’s going to be another great challenge,” O’Driscoll adds of next weekend’s meeting with Wales “It’s been very close in recent years and it’ll be the team that turns up on the day that goes into the semi-finals."

    That’s all from us for the time being, thanks for joining us and we’ll have full reports and reaction from Dunedin on the site shortly.