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Conway leads rout as Emerging Irish maul Russian bears

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Alexander Ianiushkin, Russia, is tackled by Michael Kearney, Emerging Ireland. 2014 IRB Nations Cup, Emerging Ireland v Russia, Arcul de Triumf, Bucharest, Romania

Alexander Ianiushkin, Russia, is tackled by Michael Kearney, Emerging Ireland. 2014 IRB Nations Cup, Emerging Ireland v Russia, Arcul de Triumf, Bucharest, Romania

Ian Keatley, Emerging Ireland. 2014 IRB Nations Cup, Emerging Ireland v Russia, Arcul de Triumf, Bucharest, Romania

Ian Keatley, Emerging Ireland. 2014 IRB Nations Cup, Emerging Ireland v Russia, Arcul de Triumf, Bucharest, Romania

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Alexander Ianiushkin, Russia, is tackled by Michael Kearney, Emerging Ireland. 2014 IRB Nations Cup, Emerging Ireland v Russia, Arcul de Triumf, Bucharest, Romania

Emerging Ireland dished out a 66-0 hammering to Russia in their opening IRB Nations Cup match in Bucharest, running in 10 tries, despite the fact that only 45 minutes were played.

Heavy rain and thunder and lightning forced Welsh referee Ian Davies to call a halt to proceedings early. Referee manager David McHugh and the host union tournament manager Lucian Lorin, in consultation with the two teams, decided to abort the match due to fears over player safety.

The 66-0 scoreline, which included an Andrew Conway hat-trick, became the final result in line with tournament rules as the persistent storm lasted around 30 minutes.

From a Russian perspective, the bad weather came at just the right time as their hooker Stanislav Selskiy was in the sin-bin and Emerging Ireland looked poised to add to their already impressive try tally over the remaining 35-plus minutes.

Coaches Dan McFarland and Neil Doak will not have learned a lot about their players given the disappointingly one-sided nature of this round 1 fixture and the hope is that Uruguay and hosts Romania will provide sterner tests in the coming days.

This was Russia's first match under new head coach Raphael Saint-Andre, a brother of Philippe, and players are competing for places as the Bears are still in contention for Rugby World Cup qualification.

Conway was the provider as Ian Keatley scored Ireland's opening try after just four minutes, before the Munster winger added a second to make it 12-0 two minutes later.

It was one-way traffic from there with Niall Annett, Craig Gilroy, Robin Copeland, Tommy O'Donnell and Paul Marshall all getting over the line in a facile bonus-point victory.

McFarland's men are back in action in the Romanian capital next Wednesday afternoon when they play Uruguay

(kick-off 2.0).

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Emerging Ireland – J Murphy (Munster); C Gilroy (/Ulster), E Griffin (Connacht), S McCloskey (Ulster), A Conway (Munster); I Keatley (Munster), P Marshall (Ulster); C Black (Ulster), N Annett (Ulster), M Bent (Leinster), M Kearney (Connacht), D Foley (Munster), D Ryan (Leinster) (capt), T O'Donnell (Munster), R Copeland (Cardiff Blues).Reps: JJ Hanrahan (Munster) for Keatley (36 mins), J Tracy (Leinster) for Annett (h-t), J Ryan (Munster) for Bent (45).


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