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Ireland torch Romania 82-8 in Bordeaux furnace

Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2023 - Pool B - Ireland v Romania - Matmut Atlantique, Bordeaux, France - September 9, 2023 Ireland's Johnny Sexton scores their fifth try REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

BORDEAUX - Ireland thrashed Romania 82-8 to get their World Cup campaign started in style in Bordeaux on Saturday, running in 12 tries despite the sweltering heat as the returning Johnny Sexton pulled the strings and centre Bundee Aki ran riot.

Romania briefly led against the number one-ranked team in the world, after running back a clearance kick and sending scrum half Gabriel Rupanu clean through to score in the second minute.

That however was as good as it got for Romania, as Ireland took a stranglehold on the game and racked up tries for Jamison Gibson-Park, Hugo Keenan, Tadhg Beirne (2), Bundee Aki (2), Johnny Sexton (2), Rob Herring, Peter O'Mahony (2), and Joe McCarthy.

By the time Sexton walked off to a standing ovation midway through the second half the game was long over as a contest, and the eventual margin of victory exceeded the 60-0 previous record from when the sides played in 1986. REUTERS