International Rugby

International Rugby

IT Sat, Nov 17

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  • 14:10

    Good afternoon and welcome to a mammoth day of rugby action. I’m Emmet Riordan and fuelled only by a bacon and egg sandwich and a bottle of apple-flavoured energy drink I will be bringing you almost 8 hours of coverage from today’s autumn internationals.

    Ireland don’t go into action against Fiji until 5.30pm at Thomond Park, so there’s plenty of time to catch up on our wonderful preview package from this morning’s paper.

    Rugby correspondent Gerry Thornley previews the match here and also interviews new Irish loosehead David Kilcoyne as he makes a promising start to his international career.

    Gerry also outlines all the problems that face Fiji in competing at international level. Read it on this link.

    Although Ireland can not gain any ranking points in the non-Test outing against Fiji, my colleague Carl O’Malley outlines how Samoa’s shock victory over Wales in Cardiff last night has helped our chances of staying in the top eight of the world rankings. Read his update on the world rankings here.

    Anyway, that’s enough to be going on with as the day’s first game has got underway at the Olympic Stadium in Rome where Italy take on the All Blacks.

  • 14:14
    And it's the All Blues that have made the better start in Rome, but they've turned over two good pieces of possession in the first 10 minutes.
  • 14:16
    12 minutes in and the All Blacks have a penalty from close range.
  • 14:18
    And Aaron Cruden knocks over the penalty.
  • 14:22
    TRY - NEW ZEALAND - Wonderful break from Conrad Smith and Kieran Read is on his shoulder to go in under the posts. Cruden adds the extras.
  • 14:25
    20 MINS - PENALTY NEW ZEALAND: Cruden lands another kick and the All Blacks are moving through the gears.
  • 14:28
    Penalty to Italy but Sergio Parisse opts for the scrum. 
  • 14:30
    And why wouldn't they with that frontrow. Lo Cicero and Castrogiovanni either side of Ghiraldini.
  • 14:31
    TRY - ITALY: Alberto Sgarbi stretches over the line to score his first Try in international rugby.
  • 14:32
    Luciano Orquera adds the conversion and the Olympic Stadium has come alive.
  • 14:37
    PENALTY - ENGLAND: Toby Flood opens the scoring for England at Twickenham against Australia.
  • 14:38
    PENALTY - SOUTH AFRICA: And Pat Lambie does likewise for the Springboks at Murrayfield.
  • 14:41
    Italy almost score another try as Mirco Bergamasco makes a break down the line only to cought the ball up.
  • 14:42
    PENALTY - SCOTLAND: Greig Laidlaw levels things up at Murrayfield.
  • 14:44
    I have the 3 matches on 3 TVs here in the office and reckon I will need physio on my neck later on. The Italy v All Blacks is on the furthest away TV, but I can still make out that Parisse is having a stormer.  
  • 14:45
    PENALTY - SOUTH AFRICA: Lambie makes it 2 from 2.
  • 14:45
    Australia putting a lot of pressure on England at Twickenham.
  • 14:46
    DROP GOAL - AUSTRALIA: And Berrick Barnes drops a goal off his left foot.
  • 14:49

    England are playing in a horrid mauve colour.  "We're playing the All Mauves today lads" wouldn't really put the fear of God in the opposition.

  • 14:49
    Without doubt the most entertaining game of the day so far is in Rome. It's live on ESPN.
  • 14:50
    HALF-TIME: Italy 7 New Zealand 13
  • 14:51
    Jacques Brunel may have said his players were facing Everest coming up against the All Blacks. Well the All Blues have reached base camp without casualties.   
  • 14:53

    TRY - SOUTH AFRICA: Adriaan Strauss barrels his way over at Murrayfield.

  • 14:55
    Lambie misses the conversion and Scotland have suffered a blow as Richie Gray goes off injured to be replaced by Ali Kellock in the secondrow.
  • 14:57
    MISSED PENALTY - SCOTLAND: Laidlaw misses.
  • 14:58
    PENALTY - ENGLAND: Flood lands a haymaker for England to put them 6-3 up in the 25th minute.
  • 15:03

    Australia pounding the line against England.

  • 15:04
    PENALTY - SOUTH AFRICA: Lambie knocks over another.
  • 15:05
    Awaiting a TMO decision for an Australia chance at Twickenham. And it's no try.
  • 15:07
    PENALTY - AUSTRALIA: England's frontrow goes down in front of the posts and Barnes levels up the scores at 6-6.
  • 15:09
    PENALTY - NEW ZEALAND: Cruden opens the second-half scoring in Rome with a penalty after an intentional knock-on from Ghiraldini.
  • 15:10
    PENALTY- ENGLAND: Flood edges England 3 points clear.
  • 15:14
    TRY - AUSTRALIA: Great break from Aussie scrumhalf Nick Phipps and a gem of a pass to Nick Cummins who turns on the afterburners for the first try of the game. Barnes misses the extra points.
  • 15:16
    TRY - NEW ZEALAND: Ma'a Nonu goes over in Rome and Cruden converts.  
  • 15:17
    Awaiting a TMO decision for England at Twickenham.
  • 15:18
    TRY - ENGLAND: Manu Tuilagi is awarded his eighth international try.  
  • 15:18
    Flood misses the conversion.
  • 15:19
    Half-time at Twickenham.
  • 15:29
    DROP GOAL - ITALY: Orquera gets Italy into double figures in Rome.
  • 15:30
    We're back underway at Murrayfield with Scotland trailing 3-14 against the Springboks.
  • 15:34
    TRY - SOUTH AFRICA: And Richardt's cousin Adriaan Strauss scores his second try of the match at Murrayfield after a brilliant interception. 
  • 15:34
    Lambie adds the extras and the Springboks are in control against Scotland.
  • 15:39
    TRY - NEW ZEALAND: Substitute Cory Jane goes over for the All Blacks and Cruden converts.
  • 15:40
    TRY - SCOTLAND: And another substitute scores as Henry Pyrgos goes over for his first international try in his second game. Laidlaw converts.  
  • 15:41
    PENALTY - AUSTRALIA: Barnes levels things up at Twickenham.
  • 15:45
    PENALTY - AUSTRALIA: Barnes edges Australia clear with a routine effort from under the posts.
  • 15:47
    TRY - NEW ZEALAND: Julian Savea touches down in the corner as the game moves into the final stages in Rome.
  • 15:47
    Scotland putting plenty of pressure on the Springboks at Murrayfield.
  • 15:49
    PENALTY - AUSTRALIA: Barnes is good again as England continue to give away penalties at Twickenham.
  • 15:52

    TRY - NEW ZEALAND: Savea scores his second try in three minutes against a tiring Italian side. Cruden converts.

  • 15:53
    FULL-TIME: Italy 10 New Zealand 42. 
  • 15:55
    The All Blacks showed their hard edge in the second half tin Rome after Italy gave their all to stay with them for the opening 40 minutes. Plenty of positives for Jacques Brunel though as he continues to rebuild.
  • 15:57
    Waiting on a TMO call for an England try at Twickenham.
  • 15:57
    Looks like No 8 Thomas Waldrom has lost control while trying to touch down.
  • 15:58
    And it's a knock-on as Waldrom dropped the ball.
  • 16:02
    England's pack gets the Twickenham crowd going as they hammer the Aussie pack in the scrum.
  • 16:06
    CJ van der Linde struggling at tighthead for South Africa and Scotland are awarded a penalty after the srum goes down.
  • 16:07
    Oh no, Scotland have the line at their mercy and Tim Visser knocks on from a horrid pass.
  • 16:10
    England tap a penalty but it ends up with a penalty to South Africa. They should have gone for the posts and put just 3 points between the sides.
  • 16:10


  • 16:14
    A sell-out crowd of 81,361 at Twickenham has gone a bit quiet of late as we enter the last 10 minutes.
  • 16:23
    England keep getting in to good positions and messing up. Tuilagi can't hold on to a pass and Australia are 2 minutes from victory.
  • 16:26
    FULL-TIME: ENGLAND 14 AUSTRALIA 20. So all three Six Nations teams lose to southern hemisphere opposition in the afternoon games. It means that Ireland will stay in 7th position in the world rankings after moving up following Samoa's victory over Wales on Friday night.
  • 16:27

    Join us again in 30 minutes or so as we continue our build-up to Ireland's game against Fiji at Thomond Park.

  • 17:08
    Donal Lenihan believes Ireland will stay within the top 8 after the final weekend of fixtures even if Argentina claim a victory at the Aviva. A Samoan victory over France could change things and push Ireland out if they lost to Los Pumas, but hopefully the Samoans have already enjoyed the highlight of the tour with their win in Cardiff.
  • 17:10
    With so many people (men mostly I believe) doing their Movember thing for charity, it's wonderful to see such a wonderful specimen of facial hair above big Donal's upper lip.
  • 17:13
    Over on BBC, Keith Wood and Jeremy Guscott are shoehorned into a studio at Thomond Park with the delightful Gabby Logan.
  • 17:23
    And there will be a minute’s silence for former Fiji international Maleli Kunavore, who died at the age of 29 during the week.
  • 17:27
    A huge night then for the uncapped Ulster backline trio of Luke Marshall, Craig Gilroy and Paddy Jackson at outhalf. Of course they will have to wait to receive their first caps as this game is not of Test status.
  • 17:30
    The band leaves the pitch as Fiji go through their pleasant invitation to battle.
  • 17:31
    And the action is about to get underway at Thomond Park.
  • 17:32
    Keith Earls is named on the bench ahead of Johnny Sexton in a late change.
  • 17:33
    Poor kick straight to touch by Metuisela Talebula and Ireland have an attacking lineout.
  • 17:34
    And Fiji are done for numbers in the lineout and Ireland take the scrum.
  • 17:35
    Early engagement from Ireland and Fiji clear to halfway. Ireland will have the throw as it was a free-kick.
  • 17:36
    Ireland turn the ball over at a ruck and Fiji are on the counter.
  • 17:37
    PENALTY - IRELAND: Blatant offside from Fiji.
  • 17:38
    And Paddy Jackson lines up the kick at goal.
  • 17:39
    And as the rain comes down at Thomond, the Ulster outhalf connects perfectly to give Ireland the lead.
  • 17:40
    Craig Gilroy knocks on in trying to catch an up and under. Scrum Fiji.
  • 17:42

    TRY - IRELAND: An all-Ulster special as Luke Marshall makes a great break and sends Craig Gilroy in on the right. 

  • 17:43
    And a brilliant conversion from Jackson puts Ireland 10 points to nil up after 10 minutes.
  • 17:44
    Fergus McFadden and Craig Gilroy have switched wings from the team announced during the week.
  • 17:45
    Forward pass stops a dangerous Fijian break.
  • 17:46
    Gilroy very impressive in the opening stages here as he puts pressure on the retreating Fijian defence. Ball goes dead though.
  • 17:47
    Ireland's backs are tackling the big Fijians nice and low to bring them down. 
  • 17:48
    Cronin's throw is not straight to a  lineout and Fiji win on their throw.
  • 17:49
    The Ireland backline are not afraid to give it a whirl, with plenty of good touches so far.
  • 17:53

    Gilroy again attacks down the right and the ball is switched all the way across to the left where Fergus McFadden looks to have touched down.

  • 17:53
    Any reason that I cannot award the try is the question.
  • 17:54
    He looks to have come down short of the line and made a second movement.
  • 17:55

    TRY - IRELAND: From another angle it looks good and indeed it is and McFadden gets the score.

  • 17:55
    And Jackson makes it three from three from the touchline on the left.
  • 17:57
    TRY - IRELAND: Gilroy again down the right and the ball is again spread left where Seán Cronin gets over. 
  • 17:57
    Gilroy could be playing himself into a starting XV slot against Argentina next week with his performance so far.
  • 17:58
    Jackson converts and Ireland are completely dominant at Thomond Park.
  • 18:00
    68 per cent possession to Ireland at this stage.
  • 18:01
    Ireland penalised in the scrum for binding on the arm.
  • 18:01
    And Fiji head for the corner.
  • 18:03
    Terrible handling from Fiji with another knock-on
  • 18:03
    Iain Henderson has made 35 metres on 5 carries so far, good start for the Ulster backrow.
  • 18:04
    Jackson kicks Ireland down inside the Fijian 22 with a penalty from a scrum.
  • 18:04
    Heaslip takes and Ireland are mauling.
  • 18:06

    TRY - IRELAND: Darren Cave gets in on the act as the centre weaves his way through some porous Fiji defending to stretch over for the score.

  • 18:06
    And Jackson misses his first kick of the game, pulling the head off a fairly routine conversion. 
  • 18:07
    Ireland are still going along at a point a minute though.
  • 18:09
    Marshall and Cave are really enjoying themselves in the midfield atThomond, making acres of space and combining well.
  • 18:11
    Gilroy again makes a stunning break, but John Muldoon can't collect close to the line as the chance goes by.
  • 18:11
    Ireland's backline are giving Fiji a lesson in Fijian-style open field running if you get my drift.
  • 18:13
    Referee Leighton Hodges gives a lecture to the frontrows.
  • 18:18
    MISSED PENALTY - IRELAND: Paddy Jackson goes for the posts with the last kick of the half but pushes it right and wide. 
  • 18:18
    HALF-TIME – IRELAND 29 FIJI 0. All one-way traffic at Thomond, with the backline sparkling and in particular the Ulster trio of Gilroy on the wing and the centre pairing of Cave and Marshall. 
  • 18:28
    So Declan Kidney must be delighted with his selection, but will he change things around at the start of the second half. Michael Bent is bound to get some time in the frontrow at the expense of Mike Ross.
  • 18:30
    Jamie Heaslip is also likely to leave the pitch early with one eye on the showdown with the Pumas next week.
  • 18:32
    And we're off with no changes made so far on the Ireland side.
  • 18:36

    TRY - IRELAND: Fergus McFadden grabs his second of the game after great work from Heaslip.

  • 18:37
    John Muldoon is down injured.
  • 18:37
    Jackson with a fine conversion makes it 5 out of 7.
  • 18:38
    Looks like an ankle or lower leg injury for Muldoon.
  • 18:38
    Chris Henry comes on in his place.
  • 18:39
    Sadly it looks like a stretcher for Muldoon.
  • 18:41
    Muldoon gets a warm round of applause from the Thomond Park crowd, but a big blow for Connacht if he's done serious damage to his leg.
  • 18:42
    Luke Marshall has made 73 metres in 8 carries.
  • 18:42
    Looked like a tip tackle on Conor Murray there.
  • 18:43
    But he's back on his feet
  • 18:43
    And Fijian sub Timoci Matanavou gets 10 minutes in the bin for the tackle. 
  • 18:44

    Cian Healy comes on for David Kilcoyne at loosehead.

  • 18:45
    Marshall knocks on from a Gilroy pass and Ireland must keep their concentration here.
  • 18:48
    A couple of great catches from Gilroy from high balls and he really is setting down a serious marker. 
  • 18:50
    Momentum has gone from the game now and Kidney may be tempted to freshen things up a little
  • 18:51
    And Michael Bent replaces Mike Ross for the second straight week. He'll have 28 minutes to impress
  • 18:52
    So 3 changes in the pack, one of thiose enforced with Muldoon's injury, but the backline remains unchaged. Paul Marshall is likely to get a run at some stage. 
  • 18:55

    Fiji with a 5 metre lineout

  • 18:57
    But an accidental offside ruins their possession and Ireland get the scrum.
  • 18:57
    Ireland too eager and Fiji get the free-kick.
  • 18:58
    Fiji inches from the line.
  • 18:59
    Iain Henderson strips the ball away and Ireland back in control of the ball,
  • 19:02
    A forgettable third quarter and Ireland make the changes as Simon Zebo, Paul Marshall and Richardt Strauss replacing Denis Hurley, Conor Murray and Seán Cronin. 
  • 19:04
    Chris Heny gets a yellow card after a few infringements at rucks by Ireland.
  • 19:06
    A bit of handbags between Saularadidi and Cian Healy but referee lets it pass. Possibly the most interesting thing that has happened in the second half.
  • 19:07
    Referee now steps in and Tuapati Talemaitoga gets the bin after a late hit on Gilroy
  • 19:10
    Luke Marshall looks itn some discomfort, the referee is saying that he was squeezed in an area where no man likes to be squeezed. Well not by a Fijian rugby player anyhow.
  • 19:11
    TRY - IRELAND: Craig Gilroy goes in for his second try but Paddy Jackson takes a huge late hit in the build-up 
  • 19:12
    He's up though but his conversion slips wide to the right.
  • 19:12
    Just over 10 minutes left and ireland will be target the 50-point mark and also look to keep a clean sheet.
  • 19:15
    TRY - IRELAND: Gilroy runs almost the length to score his hat-trick try to cap off a wonderful performance.
  • 19:16
    Jackson adds the extras.
  • 19:16
    That should read the length of the pitch after Ireland made good of another Fijian fumble.
  • 19:17
    Gilroy will certainly put pressure on his Ulster team-mate Andrew Trimble ahead of next week's meeting with Argentina.  
  • 19:18
    Jamie Heaslip comes off to be replaced by Mike McCarthy
  • 19:23
    TRY - IRELAND: And Luke Marshall goes over after great work from Iain Henderson, who has been the outstanding forward on the pitch
  • 19:24
    Paddy Jackson misses the conversion as the final whistle blows.
  • 19:24
  • 19:25
    Keith Wood believes that the Ulster young guns should be thrown in at the deep end against Argentina.
  • 19:26
    He'd put Cave alongside Earls in the centre, with Gilroy on the wing and Henderson for Henry at No 6.
  • 19:28
    It would be a big move for Kidney, but the players have certainly did all that was asked of them this evening.
  • 19:30
    The RTÉ panel are also gushing about Gilroy, Conor O'Shea likes his step, Popey likes his speed, or as skipper Jamie Heaslip put it on the BBC, "Gillers showed some serious wheels".  
  • 19:36
    Kidney particularly delighted with the defence but doesn't want to single any one player out.
  • 19:39
    He does give Gilroy a big gold star, but also mentions Fergus McFadden. On the young guns coming in against Argentina, Kidney said: "They've certainly put their hands up". Kidney also confirmed that Sexton tweaked his groin in the warm-ups and was removed from the bench as a precaution.
  • 19:52
    You can read our match report from Thomond Park here ahead of the last game of the night from Lille where France take on Argentina.
  • 19:59
    A rousing La Marseillaise and we have a charity kick-off before all charity ends and these two sides get down to it. 
  • 20:04
    PENALTY - FRANCE: Frederic Michalak puts the home side ahead in the 5th minute.
  • 20:06
    TRY - ARGENTINA: Marcelo Bosch sticks it straight back at France with a fine try under the posts. Sanchez converts and it's game on early in Lille. 
  • 20:09
    PENALTY - ARGENTINA: Sanchezputs the Pumas 1-3 up with a straightforward kick from under the posts.
  • 20:10
    Already we've seen great intent and purpose from Argentina. Whose idea was it to let them in to the Rugby Championship anyhow?  
  • 20:11
    Sanchez dumped in to touch and looks to have banged his head after claiming the high ball.
  • 20:12
    Louis Picamoles tackled the outhalf in the air and dumped him down on the astroturf beside the pitch. He's up again and back in the action.
  • 20:14
    PENALTY - ARGENTINA: Sanchez shows no ill effects as he knocks over his second penalty.  
  • 20:15

  • 20:15


  • 20:16
    We've just uploaded some soundcloud audio clips from the Ireland game, with skipper Jamie Heaslip and coach Declan Kidney talking about the 53-0 victory over Fiji..
  • 20:21
    TRY - FRANCE: Vincent Clerc goes over for his 33rd international try to move to number two in the French all-time rankings behind Serge Blanco. Michalak adds the conversion.
  • 20:22
    TRY - FRANCE: Make that number 34 as he latches on to a lovely kick through to go in under the posts. Michalak adds the extras. What a start to this game.
  • 20:29
    Well the scoring has calmed down a bit in Lille, while another Argentine great, Lionel Messi scores his second goal for Barcelona against Zaragoza. It would be great to see him play outhalf just once, although the insurance premium would probably equal our national debt.
  • 20:32
    There was no way the game could have continued at the pace, while the surface at the Lille soccer stadium looks pretty draining on the legs.
  • 20:35
    TRY - FRANCE: Womderful effort from flanker Yannick Nyanga as he squirms free from a ruck, makes a great run and drags two Argentiineans over the line.
  • 20:36
    Michalak converts as France stretch their lead.  
  • 20:42
  • 20:59

    Right we’ve 40 minutes of rugby left on our epic day of rugby.

    But to keep you awake, let’s hear from you what you think the Ireland XV should be against Argentina next week.

    Here’s mine for what it’s worth.

    Zebo; Bowe, Earls, Cave, Gilroy; Sexton, Murray; Healy, Strauss, Ross, Ryan, McCarthy, Henderson, Henry, Heaslip (capt).

  • 21:00
    PENALTY - ARGENTINA: Sanchez opens the scoring in the second half in Lille
  • 21:03
    DROP GOAL- FRANCE: Michalak with a sweet strike to move within one kick of 300 international points. 
  • 21:06
    Parts of the Lille pitch look like they've staged the National Ploughing Championships at this stage. I wonder what state the Aviva Stadium will be in after a few tonnes of prime Argentinian beef get stuck into it next week.
  • 21:08
    So you obviously all agree with me as to the Ireland selection for next week. Either that or you're too lazy to type. Or maybe your fingers are buzy stuffing pizza down your gob. Ummm Pizza.
  • 21:09
    The pitch is dangerous in Lille, scrums are collapsing and French tighhead Nicolas Mas went down just there. 
  • 21:10
    Referee Steve Walsh wants the two frontrows to get higher and nearer because of the surface.
  • 21:10
    It's always a danger in playing on soccer pitches at this time of the year.
  • 21:11
    He's within his rights to move the scrums to better ground, which there is around the centre of the pitch. Not that the Lille groundstaff will be delighted.
  • 21:15
    PENALTY - ARGENTINA: Sanchez is not put off by getting the bird (or should that be oiseau) from the Lille crowd and the gap is back to 8 points.
  • 21:15
    Five kicks from 5 for Sanchez and the Pumas are well and truly in this match still.
  • 21:17
    Bit of ructions creeping into the game in Lille now.
  • 21:18
    Sanchez clears from a retreating Argentine pack as the French eight get a shove on.
  • 21:20
    PENALTY - FRANCE: Michalak goes to 301 international points
  • 21:25
    MISSED PENALTY - ARGENTINA: Mas is pinged for bringing down the scrum but Sanchez's kick falls short 
  • 21:27
    DROP GOAL - FRANCE: Sanchez makes up for it with a sweet drop between the posts/
  • 21:29
    PENALTY - FRANCE: Michalak brings the gap back to 11.
  • 21:29
    12 minutes to go in Lille and Argentina need to get a try to get back into this game.
  • 21:30
    Argentina's discipline has been poor in this second half and referee Walsh has been happy to tell them.
  • 21:31
    Mas has finished his night's wotk and Clermont's Vincent Debaty comes on at tighthead.
  • 21:35
    PENALTY - FRANCE: Michalak puts two converted tries between the sides, although it wasn't the best finish of the night from a Frenchman. Karim Benzema has just scored a peach for Real Madrid.   
  • 21:36
    Horacio Agulla down injured for Argentina as he goes in wrong in the tackle and crashes to the ground. 
  • 21:37
    The medical teams are on the pitch and he looks like he will have to go off on a stretcher. A further blow to an Argentinean squad that has already lost former Leinster legend Felipe Contepomi through injury. 
  • 21:40

    Maybe Argentina are starting to tire after a tough season in the Rugby Championship. Their play has been littered with errors in the second half.

  • 21:42
    PENALTY - FRANCE: More indiscipline from the visitors as they handle the ball at a French ruck. Michalak punishes them yet again. 
  • 21:42
    That's 21 points from the boot the boot of Freddy.
  • 21:43
    And the French crowd are singing La Marseillaise yet again
  • 21:48
  • 21:56
    That's all we got for tonight folks. After 8 hours and 5 games, I don't want to see another rugby ball for a while...well until next Saturday at least. Take care and goodnight.