Published 03/10/2011 | 05:00
All the Irish players afterwards referred to how Otago Stadium felt like a home match, with captain Brian O'Driscoll rating it better than some of the atmospheres he has experienced in Dublin. There was no question that Ireland supporters dominated the crowd of just over 28,000 and, with many of them having been 'on it' since lunchtime, there was no fear of them being quiet. Mexican waves rippled throughout, but the fact that many Kiwis had become green for the day became apparent when the Italian kickers were booed. The impassioned rendition of 'The Fields Of Athenry' after O'Driscoll's try smacked of a fan base starting to believe something special could happen with this team. The Ireland captain's post-match interview was completely drowned out.
Possession: Ireland 49pc; Italy 51pc
Territory: Ireland 51pc; Italy 49pc
Line-outs: Ireland won 10, lost 0; Italy won 12, lost 2
Penalties conceded: Ireland 11; Italy 13
Clean line breaks : Ireland 4; Italy 0
Offloads: Ireland 10; Italy 1
Passes: Ireland 127; Italy 60
Metres run: Ireland 436; Italy 164
With a lower penalty count and 30-point margin of victory, Ireland should not have a lot to complain about, but they were denied two tries, both involving Tommy Bowe. Ireland's dominance at the scrum was rewarded for the most part, although the Italians got away with some of their scrum tricks -- notably popping up on Mike Ross. As regards proper policing of crooked feeds to scrums and line-outs -- Jonathan Kaplan, like most refs here, was in turn-a-blind-eye mode.
Nothing to said , ireland deserve to win they was and are better team than us.Good luke.I'm pretty f***... I will love to play at tigers sat
Rory best is an injury concern after this mornings match with a damaged shoulder. Fingers crossed it's only minor #RWC
No foul play my arse for Tommy Bowes run. Justice. Earls just goes over. Fantastic display under immense pressure. Well done Ireland. #RWC