Rugby World Cup 2011: Ireland 62-12 Russia

Keith Earls goes over for his first try against Russia
Keith Earls goes over for his first try against Russia

Ireland returned to the top of World Cup Pool C after a nine-try rout of Russia in Rotorua.

Fergus McFadden and Sean O'Brien scored early tries and the Irish finished the half strongly with Issac Boss, Keith Earls and Andrew Trimble going over.

Ireland led 36-0 at the break and Earls added his second try before Russia hit back with tries from Vasily Artemyev and Denis Simplikevich.

Rob Kearney, Shane Jennings and Tony Buckley went over late in the game.

Ireland coach Declan Kidney made 10 changes from the side which beat Australia but it didn't show in an impressive opening burst.

O'Gara fired over his first penalty before Russian fly-half Konstantin Rachkov was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on.

The try-scoring started on 10 minutes with McFadden sliding in and touching down from O'Gara's pinpoint chip.

O'Gara added the extras and he repeated the feat when O'Brien sprinted over from close range three minutes later.

Irish errors allowed Russia into the game midway through the half but the minnows failed to capitalise on their only period of possession.

Ireland regained control before the break and Boss added the third try by stretching out to touch the padding on the post.

Earls sealed the bonus point with a run into the corner after being released by Trimble, who got on the scoresheet with an opportunist try.

Andrey Garbuzov knocked the ball into space and the Munster wing pounced to kick ahead and dive on the ball for the try, although O'Gara failed for the first time with the boot as his conversion hit the upright.

Earls completed his double eight minutes into the second half, his powerful run breaking the tackle and sending him over for a converted try.

Russia hit back with their first try two minutes later when the Dublin-educated Artemyev sliced through the Irish defence before touching down.

Rachkov added the conversion and the buoyant Russians scored another try with Simplikevich finishing a fine move in the corner.

However, Russia were soon showing the fatigue of playing three games in 11 days and Ireland took advantage in the final stages.

Kearney eased over in the corner before close-range tries from Jennings and Buckley completed a good display.

Ireland: Kearney, McFadden, Earls, Wallace, Trimble, O'Gara, Boss; Healy, Cronin, Buckley, O'Callaghan, Cullen (captain), Ryan, O'Brien, Heaslip.

Replacements: Murphy for Earls (50), Sexton for O'Gara (66), Reddan for Boss (66), Jennings for O'Brien (58), Leamy for O'Callaghan (46), Rossfor Healy (58)

Not used: Best.

Russia: Artemyev, Simplikevich, Kuzin, Trishin, Ostroushko, Rachkov, Yanyushkin (captain), Gresev, Garbuzov, Fatakhov, Byrnes, Antonov, Khrokin, Tsnobiladze, Popov.

Replacements: Babaev for Trishin (74), Bykanov for Yanyushkin (74), Sidorov for Garbuzov (45), Voytov for Antonov (49), Prishchepenko for Khrokin (50), Matveev for Tsnobiladze (74), Travkin for Popov (75).

Sin Bin: Rachkov (7).

Att: 30,000

Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)

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