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Last Updated: Sunday, 9 September 2007, 17:50 GMT 18:50 UK
As it happened - Ireland 32-17 Namibia
Result: Ireland 32-17 Namibia

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By Rob Hodgetts

606: DEBATE

80 mins: So, Ireland end on the front foot, and they will be relieved to get out of here with the bonus-point win. But there's work to do for Eddie O'Sullivan's men.

Namibia will be delighted by their night. There was even a sniff they could snatch a famous victory at one point and they seem to have come a very long way since 2003.

78 mins: "This could be over a ton, Mr Hodgetts?"
Belgianmick on 606

I did indeed say that, but I wasn't alone in thinking Ireland might - and they still might - mount a big challenge at this tournament.

But as Canarie_64 says on 606: "Full credit to Namibia, they have set the benchmark here for the other minnows."

75 mins: TRY Ireland 32-17 Namibia
Just when they really needed something special to get themselves out of jail, up steps Brian O'Driscoll, who weaves through the Namibian defence. The ball is moved on and replacement hooker Jerry Flannery dives for the corner and gets the benefit of a close decision. Ronan O'Gara misses the conversion.

74 mins: Ireland are back on top for the time being and enjoying their best spell for some time. But the precision and execution is still lacking.

71 mins: Ireland make a rare excursion into the Namibian half but Brian O'Driscoll is stripped of the ball.

68 mins: Another fumble in the Irish midfield as Gordon D'Arcy spills the ball, giving Namibia an attacking scrum on the 22, but they give away a penalty and Ireland get out of jail.

67 mins: Ireland are all at sea and haven't really controlled the game for about 10 minutes. Namibia probe the left touchline again and pin Ireland back on their 22.

66 mins: "I was disappointed with England, but having seen the other home nations it does not look too bad. Irish must be very nervous now."
DM Jeffrey on 606

63 mins: TRY Ireland 27-17 Namibia
Namibia's dander is well and truly up and they're running at Ireland from all over the park. This time, left winger Bock chips through and centre Piet van Zyl wins the race with Girvan Dempsey to touch down.

Huge choruses of "Allez Les Blues" ring out and the crowd sense there could be something special happening here.

59 mins: TRY Ireland 27-10
Namibia had been probing for a while and eventually right winger Witbooi's surging break set up blind-side flanker Nieuwenhuis to crash over. Emile Wessels slots the conversion.

56 mins: Namibia edge upfield and win a penalty which they pump into the corner. From the line-out they recycle and win another penalty which they run quickly at Ireland. They attack up the left touchline but Ireland turn it over and try to counter.

"Yet again POC is failing to deliver,knocking on more than i have ever seem him do before. Strings is poor, putting brutal passes on bootlaces,ROG is having a poor game cant even find touch.Doc anonymous. Let the fowards take on the namibia fowards and stop clotting up the back line with there poor hands. Leamy is having a great game however. Best at line out is looking dodgy too."
Wallaceno7 on 606

53 mins: Ireland's Ronan O'Gara probes the touchline again and piles on the pressure deep in the Namibian half. Ireland come up with the ball after a Namibian line-out but the Africans turn it over, earn a penalty and clear the ball.

48 mins: TRY Ireland 27-3 Namibia
After repeated warnings, referee Joel Jutge awards Ireland a penalty try as Namibia continually collapse the five-yard scrum. That, at least, is the bonus point secured for Ireland.

45 mins: The men in green win another penalty from a scrum in midfield and Ronan O'Gara again pumps it into the left corner. A clean catch-and-drive from the line-out eventually yields a penalty and Ireland opt for a scrum.

44 mins: Ireland press again and Ronan O'Gara chips through for Brian O'Driscoll but the Namibians hold firm and nudge Ireland back.

42 mins: Ireland push the ball into the left corner. They throw long but are forced to re-set and the move becomes bogged down.

41 mins: Namibia kick off the second half on a steamy Bordeaux night.

"If you're going to be a minnow in a Rugby World Cup in France, wouldn't you put a blue shirt on so the crowd can sing "allez les bleus"?
Richard (in Paris), via text

40 mins: PENALTY Ireland 20-3 Namibia
Namibia win a late penalty as Ireland fail to release the ball and Emile Wessels, a rugby development officer in Australia, rifles a monster through the posts.

38 mins: Ireland fail to find touch and Namibia full-back Losper launches a huge drop-goal attempt, which is long enough, but just wide.

37 mins: Namibia catch cleanly from the line-out and the big drive comes in from behind. Ireland's line remains firm as Namibia hammer at the door, and when the Africans spread it wide, fly-half Emile Wessels fumbles and Ireland win a scrum and then a penalty.

35 mins: Namibia recycle and really take it to the Irish, igniting the crowd. The Africans win a penalty and pump it into touch.

34 mins: Heave! The crowd are behind the Namibian pack as they try to push Ireland over. Cries of "Allez les Bleus" ring out.

31 mins: A rare foray into Ireland's half and the Namibians win a good scrum before threading a little kick into the corner. Ireland's throw-in is not straight and Namibia get a go. Best chance yet.

28 mins: TRY Ireland 20-0 Namibia
Another Ireland penalty but this time Ronan O'Gara plonks it into the corner. From the line-out, Ireland catch and drive and after a couple of attempts, Simon Easterby burrows over. Ronan O'Gara drags his kick left.

26 mins: The Namibian scrum is holding its own currently. But from a re-set scrum in midfield, Ireland scrum-half Peter Stringer breaks down the blind-side, setting up a good position. Once again, though, an Irishman drops it and the move breaks down, for now at least.

23 mins: Ireland are enjoying plenty of possession but they're stuck in second gear. The link between the breakdown and the next phase just isn't working.

And here's our first bit of biffo, a multi-man slap-fest on the floor.

21 mins: Massive Namibian open-side Heino Senekal is forced to limp off with a leg problem. He doesn't want to go but finally has to accept he can't move.

20 mins: A tantalising run from Ireland centre Gordon D'Arcy but hooker Rory Best couldn't hold onto the pass. Shame. Unless you're Namibian.

18 mins: TRY Ireland 15-0 Namibia
A first glimpse of Ireland's skill with some cute close-quarter handling down the left flank. They win a penalty and Ronan O'Gara launches a bomb into the right corner. Andrew Trimble is waiting in the in-goal area and plucks it out of the sky to touchdown. O'Gara misses the conversion.

15 mins: PENALTY Ireland 10-0 Namibia
Ireland win a penalty after Andrew Trimble is forced into touch and they look like they're going for the try before Ronan O'Gara, with an eye on the scoreboard, grabs the ball and sticks it on the deck. He wants guaranteed points from this sortie and slots it easily enough.

13 mins: Ireland rumble deep into Namibia territory but Denis Hickie drops what should have been the scoring pass for the left corner. Slightly stodgy, like a school dinner rice pudding, is one description for Ireland so far.

10 mins: Ireland edge to the edge of the Namibia 22 with a bullocking run from flanker David Leamy. The Irish just aren't quite clicking yet. They will, though. There are some big lads in the Namibia side and one of them has just floored Dennis Hickie. The veteran winger looks a bit dazed.

8 mins: Even if they lose all their games by 100 points, I'm giving Namibia the "shirt of the tournament" award. At least it looks like a rugby shirt, not like that nonsense England are sporting.

7 mins: And it's all Namibia! They get a penalty on the right and Emile Wessles steps up to have a crack at the three-pointer. He's off target again, though.

6 mins: Namibia egde back into Ireland territory and Emile Wessels has a crack at a long-range drop-goal. It's not far off, but far enough.

3 mins: TRY Ireland 7-0 Namibia
So there we have it - the first try after three minutes 46 seconds. Ireland break out of their own half and the fit-again Brian O'Driscoll chips over the top, chases and gathers the ball and scampers over the line. This could be over a ton. Ronan O'Gara converts.

2 mins: Namibia, in electric blue shirts with white patches and red collars, do well to defend an attacking Ireland line-out near their line. Ireland press again but Namibia turn it over and run at the men in green.

1900: Ronan O'Gara gets things under way for a full strength Ireland team.

1855: The Irish will be mindful here that this group could come down to points difference over the smaller teams after Argentina beat France in the opener. Eddie O'Suillivan's men will be eyeing a cricket score.

1845: Ireland are set to kick-off their World Cup campaign and should have no problem with tournament whipping boys Namibia in Bordeaux.

Although...despite losing 64-7 to Ireland at the 2003 World Cup, Namibia actually hold a winning record over the Irish.

They beat them in their only other encounters back in 1991 - 26-15 and 15-6.

Off the pitch, Namibian rugby union chiefs have been barred from attending the World Cup.

NRU president Dirk Conradie has been accused of complicity in the irregular sale of World Cup tickets, a charge he denies.

SEE ALSO
Ireland v Namibia
09 Sep 07 |  Irish
Rugby union positions guide
05 Feb 07 |  Laws & Equipment


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