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Last Updated: Sunday, 19 October, 2003, 11:55 GMT 12:55 UK
Ireland ease past Namibia
Ireland 64-7 Namibia

Denis Hickie eludes the Namibia defence
Ireland 64
Tries: Quinlan (2), Dempsey, Hickie, Horan, Miller (2), G Easterby, Horgan, Kelly
Cons: O'Gara (7)
Namibia 7
Tries: Powell
Cons: Wessels

Ireland completed the comfortable victory everyone expected as they cruised past a limited but willing Namibia side in Sydney.

The Namibians might have won the previous two meetings between the two sides in the dying days of the amateur era, but there was never any chance of a repeat at the Aussie Stadium.

Heavy rain throughout did not help their cause but the Irish still managed to run in 10 tries, while Corne Powell's score for the Africans gave the neutrals in the drenched crowd a chance to celebrate.

It was a far from perfect display by Ireland but they avoided any serious injuries and picked up a bonus point to put them in good shape for their vital two final pool games, against Argentina and Australia.

We wanted to try and play pretty hard but the conditions were awful
Ireland captain Keith Wood

Ireland came out of the blocks very quickly and scored two rapid tries through Alan Quinlan and Girvan Dempsey, with Ronan O'Gara converting the first.

When the electric Denis Hickie extended his Irish try-scoring record to 22 after 14 minutes, and O'Gara slotted the conversion from the touchline, Ireland had a commanding 17-0 lead.

However, the Namibians are a very dogged side and despite losing star second row Heino Senekal, who plays for Cardiff Blues, to the bin for 10 minutes they managed to frustrate the Irish.

Ireland were also having to battle the very wet conditions and their next score did not come until after the half-hour mark when the greasy ball squirted out of Powell's hands and Marcus Horan was awarded the score.

O'Gara added his third conversion, and with four tries in the bag Ireland had their bonus point.

Eric Miller's converted score nudged the Irish further ahead but the last word in the half went to Namibia, with Powell gaining revenge as he dived over under the posts and Emile Wessels converted.

We did not give up trying and I think we went up another notch from our first game
Namibia boss Dave Waterston

The second half followed the same path as the first, with Ireland comfortably in control but unable to cut loose as they struggled to hold on to the slippery ball and keep their feet on the greasy pitch.

Back-row men Quinlan and Miller both grabbed their second scores of the night, while replacement scrum-half Guy Easterby marked his arrival in place of Peter Stringer with a try.

Shane Horgan and John Kelly also crossed, with O'Gara adding two conversions to leave the Irish satisfied with their night's work in conditions all too familiar to rugby players from the Emerald Isle.


Ireland: G Dempsey; S Horgan, B O'Driscoll, K Maggs, D Hickie; R O'Gara, P Stringer; M Horan, J Hayes, K Wood (capt), P O'Connell, M O'Kelly, E Miller, A Quinlan, S Easterby
Replacements: S Byrne, S Best, D O'Callaghan, V Costello, G Easterby, D Humphreys, J Kelly

Namibia: R Pedro; D Mouton, D Grobler, C Powell, V Dreyer, E Wessels, H Husselman; K Lensing, J Meyer, N Du Toit, H Senekal, A Graham, S van der Merwe, W Duvenhage, S Furter (capt)
Replacements: C van Tonder, A Blaauw, H Lintvelt, J van Lill, N Swanepoel, M Africa, M Schreuder





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