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Rugby World Cup: Ireland v Italy as it happened

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By Aimee Lewis

1044: It's time for me to bid you goodbye. Thanks for your contributions and I hope you can join us next Saturday morning for Wales against Ireland. Should be a barnstorming match.

Twitter
Kevin on Twitter: "Wales have been good too. My odds 51:49 Ireland ;-)"

1039: That's that then. The pool stages have come to a close and we're heading for knockout rugby, although that is effectively what we've had today, I guess. It's clear most of you think Ireland v Wales is the stand-out tie of the quarter-finals and I can't disagree with you. You can read the report of Ireland's victory in Dunedin. I'm sure Ireland fans will relish reading all about it again.

Twitter
Ráwsheén Farren on Twitter: "Ireland v Wales has the potential to be the match of the tournament."

Ireland coach Declan Kidney: "That's phase one out of the way. We wanted to get out of the pool and it was an all or nothing match today. It was a final for us and we're just glad to be out of the pool now. The first half was pretty nip-and-tuck, like it always is in Ireland v Italy matches, and it was a case of taking the breaks when they came."

Twitter
5 live rugby on Twitter: "Ireland win 36-6 over Italy and book QF v Wales in Wellington next w/e.... gonna be epic match. Both in great nick. Hold onto your hats."

Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll: "Delighted with the win. We knew we needed it and I'm glad we were able to deliver in that second half, ably helped by the best crowd we've played in front of so far. We owe them a huge debut of gratitude. We knew we were going to have to be patient. Against any team, you have to grind them down and go through the phases. We were good and patient and took our scores clinically."

Twitter
John Boden on Twitter: "The current Irish rugby team. Full of legends!"

Bradley Walmsley on Twitter: "Should be three great quarter finals and a walkover for New Zealand!!"

Full time
FULL-TIME: IRELAND 36-6 ITALY

80 min: Ireland 36-6 Italy
Try graphic
Trimble feeds Earls, who scores a second try on his 24th birthday and Sexton converts from the touchline to seal an impressive Ireland victory. Phew, what an ending.

80 min: TRY IRELAND (EARLS)

80 min: DISALLOWED TRY Ireland 29-6 Italy
"Just be patient," Kaplan is told through his earpiece and a South African voice adds: "There was no foul play and the ball wasn't grounded". No try. Hang on... Earls is making a dash for the line!

79 min: Ireland 29-6 Italy
Bowe makes a break, he seems to have scored at the death but referee Kaplan isn't sure. Has he? Hasn't he? Hang on...

77 min: Ireland 29-6 Italy
Parisse receives treatment as blood gushes down from his eyebrow. The No8, head bowed, trudges off as the medics can't stop the flow from the deep clash and it's a premature end to the match for the usually irrepressible forward.

75 min: Ireland 29-6 Italy
Replacement Reddan puts in at the scrum and it seems Italy's chance of a try has gone as they are penalised for illegal wheeling, which allows Sexton to ease the pressure with a fine touchfinder.

73 min: Ireland 29-6 Italy
So, with 10 minutes remaining I think it's safe to say Ireland are heading to the quarter-finals for a, dare I say, mouth-watering clash with Wales in Wellington. Italy summon the strength to work their way to within inches of the Ireland line, but Ferris steals the ball and he gets a hearty slap on the back from Ryan.

69 min: PENALTY Ireland 29-6 Italy
Sexton gets the chance to enhance his kicking percentages with a straight-forward looking attempt just right of the posts and he makes it!

67 min: Ireland 26-6 Italy
Some comings and goings I need to tell you about. Well, just the one really, as Sexton gambols onto the field to replace O'Gara.

64 min: Ireland 26-6 Italy
Ireland win a put-in at the scrum, but are penalised for engaging too soon so Italy have the penalty and Parisse opts for the scrum. What can the Italians do from here? They're on the opposition 22m-line, just inside the left touchline... and Ireland concede another penalty and this time the Azzurri find touch 5m out. The Italians lose their line-out, though, and the Irish breathe again.

61 min: Ireland 26-6 Italy
European player of the year O'Brien has certainly caught the eye again tonight and the Ireland forwards are beginning to purr. Earls finds touch with a dink over the Italy defence and even though Italy win the line-out they are struggling to leave their own half.

58 min: Ireland 26-6 Italy
Italy snatch the ball and kick it away. Anywhere will do for the Azzurri, it seems. It's a temporary respite, though, as Ireland put together phase after phase and just as the tryline looms the men in green are brought to a halt because a forward pass. O'Connell's work is done and he is replaced by Munster's Donnacha Ryan.

55 min: DISALLOWED TRY Ireland 26-6 Italy
Rory Best has come off and is receiving treatment on his collarbone. The forwards don't seem to be missing him, though, as Cian Healy bursts through the middle. The Irish work it wide and it looks as if they're over again! Hang on, the ref isn't sure whether Kearney crossed the line and the TMO deems the full-back was held up. I think it's fair to say it's all Ireland at the moment.

53 min: Ireland 26-6 Italy
Try graphic
The Ireland fans are in full voice and the Fields of Athenry reverberates around the ground. D'arcy makes the break and the ever-present Ferris feeds birthday boy Earls in the corner. And, safe as houses, O'Gara succeeds with the touchline conversion, which makes it six out of seven for the Munster man. Is that game over?

52 min: TRY IRELAND (EARLS)

48 min: Ireland 19-6 Italy
Try graphic
Bowe breaks clear of the replacement Bocchino and a deft inside pass from the winger puts the supporting O'Driscoll clear under the posts. O'Gara converts and it's a brilliant start to the half for Ireland. And to add salt to Italian wounds a dejected-looking Mauro Bergamasco leaves the field.

47 mins: TRY IRELAND (O'DRISCOLL)

45 min: MISSED DROP-GOAL Ireland 12-6 Italy
Heaslip is lifted into the night sky in the line-out and it sets the Irish forwards on their way, Ferris bounces his way through before O'Gara attempts the drop-goal and... MISSES.

43 min: PENALTY Ireland 12-6 Italy
And it isn't long before O'Gara has his chance to kick Ireland into a six-point lead and he's as accurate as ever from just 30m out.

41 min: Ireland 9-6 Italy
The second half is underway and there was plenty to talk about during half-time, from Bowe's disallowed try to a potential citing. Just to keep you updated, because that's my job really, Bocchino has replaced Orquera at outside-half.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
From anon, via text: "Referee is disastrous. Making decisions based on some kind of misfiring intuition rather than on what is actually occurring. The Bowe try is a clear example."

Twitter
Lucy Lew on Twitter: "Never in my life have I risked so many friendships with one statement but..COME ON ITALY! Singapore will be a lonely place for me 2mo."

5 live rugby on Twitter: "Irish pack on front foot in set piece. Italian maul impressive, discipline less so."

Twitter
Katherine Shearer on Twitter: "Ireland's lead looks a little bit slender at this stage"

HALF-TIME:
Half time
Ireland 9-6 Italy

40 min: Ireland 9-6 Italy
Brute strength from the Italians as the forwards eat up territory but their efforts come to nothing and Kaplan deems it a good time to bring the half to an end.

38 min: MISSED PENALTY Ireland 9-6 Italy
Paul O'Connell is penalised at the breakdown and after a chat with his captain, Bergamasco places the ball down for a penalty kick. He takes a couple of deep breaths before hitting the post!

35 min: Ireland 9-6 Italy
A change of personnel for Italy as Castrogiovanni is replaced by Lo Cicero. We must assume the Leicester prop is injured. That could be significant.

33 min: PENALTY Ireland 9-6 Italy
The Italian scrum is creaking. Italy are caught offside so O'Gara steps up and the ball sails through the post for the simplest of penalties.

30 min: DISALLOWED TRY Ireland 6-6 Italy
Oh, the Italy scrum was struggling a tad under Ireland pressure. Heaslip wins possession and it looks as if the bulldozing O'Brien has put Bowe clear under the posts, but Kaplan blows for a forward pass. I'm not sure whether that was the right decision from the referee, to be honest.

26 min: Ireland 6-6 Italy
A quick line-out allows the Italian backline to work some training ground moves, but poor handling needlessly gives the initiative back to Ireland, who have a put-in at the scrum. The Ireland forwards don't budge and a deft touch from O'Driscoll puts Murray into space. The Irish then work the ball to the left and it looks promising until O'Brien loses the ball in contact.

23 min: Ireland 6-6 Italy
Cian Healy is apoplectic and replays illustrate why as the cameras show Leonardo Ghiraldini appearing to put his fingers near the prop's eye. That could be something for the citing commissioner. Brian O'Driscoll has a word with the referee but Kaplan says he did not see the incident.

19 min: PENALTY Ireland 6-6 Italy
Bergamasco levels the scores with a confident kick. That's all I have to say about that.

18 min: Ireland 6-3 Italy
A rare foray from Italy into opposition territory and they have a line out about 10m from the tryline. The Italy forwards drive and pummel the Irish around the line. They're close, they're really close. Castrogiovanni drives forward. He's held up before Ireland concede a penalty for collapsing at the ruck.

16 min: PENALTY Ireland 6-3 Italy
The lively Murray sets another attack in motion and Ireland are nearly in the corner only for a last-ditch tackle to hold them out. But, fear not, Ireland fans, O'Gara nudges his team into the lead with another penalty after Italy are penalised at the line-out.

13 min: MISSED PENALTY Ireland 3-3 Italy
Lovely interchange between O'Driscoll, O'Brien and Heaslip as Ireland barge their way through the blue defensive line. Bergamasco is penalised at the breakdown and it's another opportunity for O'Gara, who composes himself, looks up... but the ball hits the upright and falls into Italy hands. Agonisingly close.

10 min: PENALTY Ireland 3-3 Italy
Italy's scrum looks impenetrable as Parisse pushes his team forward, causing Ireland to offend. Mirco Bergamasco steps up, finds his zen and boots it over. We're all square.

7 min: PENALTY Ireland 3-0 Italy
O'Gara takes aim at the uprights and it's straight down the middle from the reliable outside-half. That's why he's in the starting line-up, according to some.

5 min: Ireland 0-0 Italy
Zanni leaps to win a steady line-out, but Italy kick away possession and Ireland opt to run with the ball. O'Gara makes a dash, but is pegged back, but the men in green patiently recycle until a sloppy pass from Bowe brings that phase of play to an end. Mirco Bergamasco nearly grabbed that Bowe pass but, luckily for the Osprey wing, the Italian fumbles it.

3 min: Ireland 0-0 Italy
Two scrums in the first three minutes and Italy attempt to shove, but Ireland hold firm.

1 min: Ireland 0-0 Italy
Kaplan blows his whistle, O'Gara gets the game underway. So, just to recap: if Ireland win, they top the group and play Pool D runners-up Wales in the quarter-finals in Wellington next Saturday (0600 BST kick-off). If Italy win, they finish runners-up ahead of Ireland and play Pool D winners South Africa in Wellington next Sunday, while Wales would play Australia on Saturday.

Twitter
5 live rugby on Twitter: "Otago stadium jumping with green. Final pool game of the RWC. Ireland should feel this is home fixture, amazing support. No weather - roof."

0828: Martin Castrogiovanni rampaged around the field during a man-of-the-match performance in the Azzurri's 27-10 win over USA on Tuesday. So what are Ireland's plans to stop the shaggy-haired forward? Simple. His Leicester team-mate Geordan Murphy, who co-owns an Italian restaurant with the prop, has come up with a cunning plan, as cunning as a fox what used to be Professor of Cunning at Oxford University, you could say. "I'm thinking of leaving some baskets of chips in the corners," said the full-back. "The amount he eats, it should distract him quite nicely." I hope Murphy has a Plan B. We're nearly ready.

0927: The players line up for the anthems under the closed roof of the Otago Stadium and it is generally accepted in the Irish camp that the Italian scrum will be the toughest they'll have faced so far in this World Cup. Ireland scrum coach Greg Feek has faith in his men, however, claiming his front row are: "Almost like brothers now."

0826: Who will win? I just don't know. Ireland are favourites after winning the last 15 encounters in the fixture, but Italy were only denied by a late drop-goal by, you've guessed it, O'Gara, in the Six Nations in February. If you want to send us your thoughts then text (81111) or tweet (#BBCRWC).

0824: Kidney, though, has stressed O'Gara hasn't been picked for merely his ability with the boot. "I'd hate to go down the road that we're picking Ronan because of his place kicking," he said. "He's too good a player to be saying that about him while Jonny's place kicking is not of concern to me."

0822: O'Gara's inclusion isn't a surprise to those who believe this match will be won by the boot. O'Gara certainly has the stats on his side. Sexton has kicked merely five from 13 during this tournament - a 38% success rate - while O'Gara has come on the field and kicked 10 from 12 - an impressive 83.3% success rate. I worked out those maths and it isn't 9am yet. (I lie. I can't do maths.)

0820: Here are the teams:
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.

0819: The chatter in Irish pubs leading up to this game has been over who should take the helm in the pivotal outside-half position. Should the experienced Ronan O'Gara get the nod ahead of the youthful Jonathan Sexton, they asked. Well, Declan Kidney has put his faith in O'Gara, who is joined at half-back by Munster team-mate Conor Murray, making his second international start.

0815: Good morning. I'm assuming you're all warmed-up after watching Wales beat Fiji and are now ready for the last match of the pool stages as Italy take on Ireland. In the words of Abba, the winner at Dunedin will take it all.




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see also
Ireland 36-6 Italy
02 Oct 11 |  Irish
Kidney focusing on Italian job
26 Sep 11 |  Irish
Ireland 62-12 Russia
29 Sep 11 |  Irish
Italy 27-10 United States
27 Sep 11 |  Rugby Union
Rugby World Cup fixtures and results
26 Sep 11 |  Rugby Union
Rugby World Cup tables
09 Aug 06 |  Tables
Rugby World Cup 2011 team guide
08 Sep 11 |  Rugby Union


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