| 12.6°C Dublin

Foley: It's a dream come true but I won't be getting carried away

David Foley enjoyed a dream debut for Ireland as he was named man of the match in a 49-7 victory over Georgia in Dublin, but the Munster lock believes the challenges are only just beginning.

After a scrappy first half which saw Ireland take a slim 9-0 lead into at the break, Felix Jones claimed a brace and Dave Kilcoyne, Richardt Strauss, Simon Zebo and Stuart Olding all crossed, with Giorgi Nemsadze responding for Georgia.

Foley was one of 13 changes to the side that lost to South Africa, and took his chance in style.

"It was absolutely incredible," he said on Sky Sports 4. "I suppose I've been dreaming about this since I was a young kid and you never know if you'll get the opportunity. But I won't be getting carried away with myself and the team won't be getting carried away with themselves. We've got a massive task next week against Australia."

Ireland had been limited by a number of mistakes in the first half, but were more clinical in the second period and the scores piled up quickly.

"We talked about it at half-time, just trying to up the tempo," Jones said. "We knew the first score would be crucial, going in at 9-0 if they come out and score first they're right in it. We knew they were going to be very sticky at the beginning, they really put it up to us for the first 15 minutes but we were happy enough in the second half to turn the wheels a little bit."

Close

Darren Cave, Ireland, is tackled by Tamaz Mchedlidze, Georgia.

Darren Cave, Ireland, is tackled by Tamaz Mchedlidze, Georgia.

SPORTSFILE

Robbie Diack, Ireland, controls a rolling maul

Robbie Diack, Ireland, controls a rolling maul

SPORTSFILE

Dominic Ryan, Ireland, is tackled by Merab Sharikadze and Giorgi Nemsadze, Georgia

Dominic Ryan, Ireland, is tackled by Merab Sharikadze and Giorgi Nemsadze, Georgia

SPORTSFILE

Ireland's Tommy O'Donnell gets close to scoring a try during the first half

Ireland's Tommy O'Donnell gets close to scoring a try during the first half

SPORTSFILE

Dave Kilcoyne, Ireland, is tackled by Merab Kvirikashvili, Georgia

Dave Kilcoyne, Ireland, is tackled by Merab Kvirikashvili, Georgia

SPORTSFILE

Dave Kilcoyne, Ireland, makes a break

Dave Kilcoyne, Ireland, makes a break

SPORTSFILE

Ireland's Dave Kilcoyne makes a break upfield

Ireland's Dave Kilcoyne makes a break upfield

SPORTSFILE

/

Darren Cave, Ireland, is tackled by Tamaz Mchedlidze, Georgia.

The slow start did not surprise coach Joe Schmidt given the number of changes made, but he was pleased with the way the players responded in the second half.

"It's always a bit of a banana skin when it's Georgia and you've made 13 changes," he said. "Any team that makes 13 changes can be a little bit incongruent in putting things together and we were a little bit static in the first half, but we kept the structure and we knew the ruck penalties they were accumulating were perhaps an opportunity for us.

"Getting that one just before half-time gave us a little bit of confidence to go out there and up the tempo in the second half."

Schmidt admitted a number of players had given him plenty to think about with Australia up next, and Foley agreed, saying he believes the building blocks are now in place looking ahead to the World Cup.

"There's massive confidence in the squad," he said. "The provinces are going very well and Joe is trying to build for the World and trying to get some depth in the squad. I think by the looks of things today he has a bit of depth there and fellas are hungry to play."

Online Editors