BBC Home
Explore the BBC
| Help
Last Updated: Saturday, 11 October, 2003, 09:18 GMT 10:18 UK
Ireland ease past Romania
Ireland 45-17 Romania

Ireland stand-off David Humphreys takes on the Romania defence
Ireland 45 (26)
Tries: Horgan, Wood, Hickie 2, Costello
Cons: Humphreys (3), O'Gara
Pens: Humphreys (4)
Romania 17 (0)
Tries: Penalty, Maftei
Cons: Tofan, Vioreanu
Pen: Tofan

Ireland launched their World Cup campaign with an ultimately comfortable victory over Romania in Gosford.

But Eddie O'Sullivan's side were made to work hard for a win that also brought an invaluable bonus point.

Tries from wing Shane Horgan and Keith Wood helped the Irish to a 26-0 half-time lead, before scores from Denis Hickie and Victor Costello secured the additional point.

Hickie added a fifth try late on, while fly-half David Humphreys contributed 18 points with the boot in an authoritative display.

The only downside for Ireland was the sight of captain Wood hobbling off on the hour.

Romania could also take great credit for a committed performance, earning deserved reward with two tries in the second half.

I would like to think Ireland had a difficult evening
Romania coach Bernard Charreyre
The underdogs started confidently, showing their forward power by exerting severe pressure on the first two Irish scrums.

But with Humphreys making good use of a strong wind, Ireland settled to their task.

The fly-half opened the scoring with a penalty in the fourth minute after a powerful charge from Wood.

He promptly added a second, but only after Romania threatened at the other end when centre Valentin Maftei pierced the Ireland defence.

O'Driscoll came to the rescue with a superb cover tackle, but the Lions star's attacking prowess was the catalyst for Ireland's best spell before the interval.

Bursting through three tackles on halfway, the 24-year-old made for the right corner, only to be hauled down just short.

Wood was then held up over the line after the Irish opted to kick a penalty to touch, but Humphreys did add a third penalty before Horgan grabbed the first try after 21 minutes.

Full-back Girvan Dempsey slipped a couple of tackles before centre Kevin Maggs unselfishly gave Horgan the chance to stretch for the line.

Humphreys converted and was adding the extras again 10 minutes later after Humphreys and O'Driscoll combined down the right flank.

Quickly recycled ball allowed Peter Stringer to send Wood on an angled 30 metre sprint to the line for his 15th Test try.

Despite a 26-0 interval deficit, Romania started the second half with renewed vigour, earning a try after 44 minutes.

We were a tad rusty but we will take the win
Keith Wood
Left-wing Romeo Gontineac appeared to be winning the chase for his own kick ahead before receiving a push in the back from Humphreys as he dived for the ball.

Referee Jonathan Kaplin consulted his television official before awarding a penalty try, which Ionut Tofan improved.

The fly-half then gave his side further hope when he slotted a penalty in front of the posts, after his initial drop goal attempt had hit an upright.

Try-saving tackles from Dempsey and Humphreys avoided further damage for Ireland, before they reasserted themselves with a third try.

Dempsey was again the key man, giving Hickie the simple task of flopping over before the bonus point was secured as Costello barged his way over from the back of a scrum.

Hickie raced onto replacement Ronan O'Gara's pass for his second with four minutes left, but Romania had the last word when Maftei touched down.

Ireland: G Dempsey; S Horgan, B O'Driscoll, K Maggs, D Hickie; D Humphreys, P Stringer; M Horan, K Wood (capt), R Corrigan, P O'Connell, M O'Kelly, V Costello, K Gleeson, A Foley.

Replacements: S Byrne, J Hayes, D O'Callaghan, A Quinlan, G Easterby, R O'Gara, J Kelly).

Romania: D Dumbrava; C Sauan, V Maftei, R Gontineac, G Brezoianu; I Tofan, L Sirbu; C Petre, O Tonita, G Chiriac; A Petrichei, S Socol; M Socaciu, R Mavrodin, P Balan.

Replacements: P Toderasc, C Popescu, M Tudori, M Niculai, I Andrei, M Vioreanu, I Teodorescu.

Links to more Rugby World Cup stories


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


E-mail services | Sport on mobiles/PDAs | Headlines for your site


Back to top

Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability Sport | US Sport | Other Sport | Olympics 2004

Scores & Fixtures | Have Your Say | Photo Galleries | TV/Radio Listings

Sport Relief 2004 | Fun and Games | Question of Sport | BBC Sport Plus

Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales

BBC Sport Academy >> | BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
About the BBC | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy | Contact us
banner watch listen bbc sport