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Saturday, 28 September, 2002, 15:42 GMT 16:42 UK
Ireland ensure World Cup place
Ireland hooker Shane Bryne who stood in for Keith Wood against Georgia
Shane Bryne charages through the Georgian defence
Ireland 63-14 Georgia

Ireland safely ensured their participation in next year's World Cup thanks to this facile victory over outclassed Georgia at Lansdowne Road.

The success means Eddie O'Sullivan's side are guaranteed to face hosts Australia and Argentina at the World Cup group stage Down Under.

Victory was never in doubt for the home team.

The Irish made the perfect start in the second minute with Denis Hickie notching his 14th international try after a superb Irish back movement.

Hickie's try brought his international try tally to 14 - three behind Ireland's record holder Brendan Mullin.

Ronan O'Gara's conversion increased Ireland's lead to 7-0.

Brian O'Driscoll moved to within one try of Irish record-holder Brendan Mullin
Brian O'Driscoll scored two first half tries

The home side's fast start was maintained by two further O'Gara penalties which increased Ireland's lead to 13-0 after 11 minutes.

Ireland's incessant pressure was rewarded again two minutes later when Kevin Maggs burst through some weak Georgian tackling to score another try.

O'Gara maintained his 100 per cent record with the boot by knocking over the straightforward conversion and a further penalty in the 21st minute.

Brian O'Driscoll notched one of the least spectacular tries of his international career two minutes later when he charged down an attempted clearance by Georgian full-back Khamashuridze.

The score edged him ahead of his team-mate Hickie in his number of international tries.

  Match facts:
Ireland 63
Tries: O'Driscoll 2, Hickie, Maggs, Dempsey, S Easterby, Quinlan, G Easterby
Pens: O'Gara 3
Cons: O'Gara 5, Humphreys 2
Georgia 14
Tries: Katsadze, Khamashuridze
Cons: Jimsheladze 2

O'Gara's perfect day with the boot up to that point was maintained by the conversion from near the touchline.

The Munster fly-half finally did miss a place-kick from a 27th minute penalty.

O'Driscoll moved to within one try of Brendan Mullin's Irish international record by notching his second touchdown of the first half as Ireland continued their total domination.

The conversion extended Ireland's lead to 37-0.

On the stroke of half-time, full-back Girvan Dempsey scored his eighth international try as Ireland maintained the pressure on their outclassed opponents.

Denis Hickie scored his 14th try for Ireland
Hickie opened the scoring for Ireland

The one-way traffic continued early in the second half with Simon Easterby punishing more dreadful Georgian defending by crossing for a 42nd minute try.

However, Ireland showed defensive weakness of their own two minutes later when Georgian half-time replacement Katsadze broke through a weak O'Gara tackle to score a surprise try.

On the hour, David Humphreys replaced O'Gara to equal Jack Kyle's international record of 46 caps for an Irish fly-half.

Another example of sloppy home defence allowed Georgian full-back Khamashuridze to score a simple try after the visitors had taken a quick tap penalty on the edge of the '22.

Jimsheladze's conversion left the second half score at that point 14-7 to the visitors.

However, normal service was resumed four minutes from time with replacement Alan Quinlan scored a try after a burst by substitute scrum half Guy Easterby.

The replacement scrum half then scored a try of his own in injury-time which was converted by Humphreys.


Ireland: G Dempsey, J Kelly, B O'Driscoll, K Maggs, D Hickie, R O'Gara, P Stringer, R Corrigan, S Byrne, J Hayes, G Longwell, M O'Kelly, S Easterby, A Foley (capt), K Gleeson.
Replacements: G Easterby, D Humphreys, R Henderson, F Sheahan, P Wallace, L Cullen, A Quinlan.

Georgia: B Khamashuridze; M Urjukashvili; T Zibzibadze, K Alania, B Khekhelashvili, P Jimsheladze, I Abusseridze; G Shvelidze, A Guiorgadze, L Tsabadze, V Nadiradze, V Didebulidze, capt, D Bolghashvili, G Chkhaidze, I Zedguinidze.
Replacements: M Mtiulishvili, T Ratianidze, Z Mtchedlishvili, I Gundishvili, O Barkalaia, V Katsadze, E Iovadze.

Referee: Nigel Williams (Wales)

See also:

27 Sep 02 | English
27 Sep 02 | Celtic
21 Sep 02 | International
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