Rugby

The Positive International Media Reaction To Ireland's Win Against Romania

The Positive International Media Reaction To Ireland's Win Against Romania

Two games into the World Cup and Ireland have dispatched the lower ranked teams of their group with the efficiency we had hoped for coming into the tournament.

Bonus points have been attained, along with a minimum of casualties along the way. Rob Kearney picked up a knock late in the win against Romania on Sunday, but hopefully, it's not too serious.

Here's how the international media reacted to Ireland's latest five point acquisition.

The Guardian's Kevin Mitchell agrees with Lynn Howell's assertion that Ireland are capable of being the ones sitting atop the mountain come October 31st.

This is an Irish team that can win the World Cup. Lynn Howells, Romania’s Welsh coach, certainly thinks so after watching his team succumb to the inevitable in front of a world-record crowd on an otherwise pleasant, warm Sunday afternoon.

Of course there is a long way to go – a veritable marathon to follow the first-week sprint – but Joe Schmidt’s side are purring nicely, as Ireland’s former touchstone Brian O’Driscoll, now a spectator in the ITV commentary booth, observed after a thoroughly sound and impressive win. “You can’t really ask for a whole lot more,” he said, “two bonus-point victories in your first two games. It’s building nicely, under the radar.”

Tom Cary for The Telegraph.

Schmidt, the perfectionist, will no doubt be unhappy allowed that try late on. But it must have been difficult for his players to maintain their focus right the way through a game that never really got out of third gear, even with 90,000 cheering them on. Bigger challenges await Ireland with Italy up next and then the big one against France.

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Writing for the Daily Mail, Mick Dickson opined that even casual rugby fans must have been thrilled by the exploits of Simon Zebo.

But it was Zebo who gave such pep to the attacking line. This is an event that draws in those from outside rugby's usual constituency, and you do not need to be an aficionado to thrill to his injections of inventiveness and electric pace.

It was something of an injustice that he did not make it onto the scoresheet, although he came close. It was he who first aroused the green hordes, streaking down the line from halfway and going over after a an adroit kick through. Only the TMO, spotting that he had momentarily put a foot in touch, could deny him.

Rugby World magazine had nothing negative to say regarding the Irish performance. They were particularly impressed with the scrum.

Up against the formidable Romanian pack, Ireland, with Cian Healy and Nathan White at the forefront certainly came out on top, earning one penalty and generally getting the nudge on throughout.

Justin Palmer for Reuters.

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt made 12 changes from the side that helped themselves to a half-century of points against Canada, but there was no lack of cohesion as the Six Nations champions always looked to stretch Romania across the Wembley pitch.

No one made more of an impression than Earls, one of three players retained from the starting side against Canada.

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After the shakiness of Ireland's warm-up performances, confidence reserves are back to normal according to the Associated Press.

Consider Ireland's confidence restored.

Only eight days ago, there were doubts around the reigning two-time Six Nations champion entering the Rugby World Cup after backward steps in consecutive warm-up defeats to Wales and England.

Those wobbles have been banished after big wins in their first two Pool D matches: An opening 50-7 result over Canada that was followed today by a 44-10 defeat of Romania before another record Cup crowd at Wembley.

Irish eyes are smiling again, and though it's at the expense of Tier Two teams, the team hasn't put up these kind of numbers since the 2011 Cup in New Zealand.

John Haughey of BBC Sport was hugely impressed with Simon Zebo, naming him Man of the Match.

Zebo did not manage to get on the scoresheet but he looked at his lively best throughout with his range of skills, including his superb pass for Earls's opening try.

A marginal foot-in-touch call denied him what would have been a glorious score after his own chip and chase and his second-half dart set up Kearney's touchdown.

Zebo may not start next weekend but surely will have a part to play for Joe Schmidt's side over the coming weeks.

For Australian blog Green and Gold Rugby, the record setting attendance was particularly impressive when they 'considered the teams playing'.

Presumably that's a reference to our relatively small population and Romania's status as one of rugby's lower-ranked sides.

The attendance gets a special mention for this one, a new RWC record crowd of 89,267 attended the match. Quiet impressive when you consider the teams playing.

Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

PJ Browne
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