Ireland demolish Georgia

2014-11-16 18:41
Simon Zebo (AFP)

Dublin - Fullback Felix Jones has scored two of Ireland's seven tries as the Six Nations champions got over a poor first-half to coast to a 49-7 victory over Georgia at Lansdowne Road on Sunday for their sixth successive win.

Flyhalf Ian Madigan contributed 19 points for an Ireland side -- which had 13 changes to the starting line-up from the one that beat the South Africans last weekend -- against a resilient Georgian side that was let down by ill discipline and saw two players sin-binned.

The Georgins too had to play the last 20 minutes with 14 men as they had used up all their replacments and had to remove fly-half Lasha Khmaladze from the pitch when they sent him on for his injured replecement.

"That was amateur night," admitted Georgia's New Zealand coach Milton Haig.

"Sadly those are the rules and we had used up all our replacements and they wouldn't let us send Lasha back on."

Jones was delighted with his scores.

"Always good to score it boosts you after the injuries I had down the years. But I was well set up by the others," he said.

"At half-time Joe Schmidt said we had to up the tempo because they were at our heels.

"Fair dues to them they really got at us. However, this win still gives us some momentum ahead of Australia."

The Irish -- who face Australia in their final November test next Saturday -- will move above England in the world rankings.

Georgia had the early pressure and were rewarded with a penalty in the sixth minute as the Irish scrum cracked under pressure and prop Mike Ross was penalised.

However, Georgia's all-time points scorer fullback Merab Kvirikashvili, a veteran of the 2007 World Cup game where Ireland squeaked it 14-10, sent his penalty wide.

The Irish were stung into action by this strong start by the Georgians and started stringing together some good moves and came away with three points as Ian Madigan slotted over a penalty in the 12th minute.

Ireland had the wind in their sails and a storming run by prop Dave Kilcoyne took them deep into Georgian territory but veteran centre Gordon D'Arcy -- playing his 80th test -- was brilliantly tackled short of the line.

The hosts, though, won a penalty in front of the posts and Madigan converted for 6-0.

However, despite the numerous opportunities presented to the Irish the hosts failed to kill the game off, twice being penalised for not releasing the ball and winger Craig Gilroy dropping the ball with the tryline beckoning.

Referee JP Doyle's patience finally ran out with continual Georgian infringements and sent scrum-half Giorgi Begadze to the sin bin on the stroke of half-time -- Madigan converting the penalty for 9-0 to at least give the hosts a boost at the end of a deeply disappointing first-half performance.

For all their courage Georgia one man down paid the price early on in the second-half as Kilcoyne was unstoppable in running in from five yards out for his first try for his country -- Madigan converted for 16-0.

His fellow front rower South Africa-born hooker Richardt Strauss -- who has undergone heart surgery in the past -- added a second try just as Begadze returned to the fray and Madigan converted for 23-0.

The Georgians, though, were far from cowed and hit back with a well-worked try as Begadze made a good break and offloaded to lock Giorgi Nemsadze, who ran in under the posts -- Kvirikashvili converted for 23-7.

However, Georgian ill discipline cost them dearly again as Dimitri Basilaia was sin-binned on the hour mark and Simon Zebo went over on the left for his fourth try for his country and then was promptly replaced -- Madigan converted after a lengthy delay while replacement flyhalf Lasha Malaguradze was stretchered off.

The Irish finished strongly having rung the changes with a whole swathe of replacements, one of them Stuart Olding feeding Jones for his first try in the right hand corner and then the fullback scored his second in the other after a great break by Kieran Marmion.

The impressive Olding ran in a try of his own for his first for his country -- Madigan converted for 49-7 as the Irish finally asserted their dominance and put to bed the exhausted but resilient Georgians.


Ireland - 49: Tries - Kilcoyne (43), Strauss (51), Zebo (62), Jones (68, 72), Olding (74), Conversions - Madigan (43, 51, 63, 73, 75), Penalties - Madigan (12, 17, 40+2)

Georgia - 7: Try - Nemsadze (56), Conversion - Kvirikashvili (56)

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