Ireland crush Islanders

Ireland wrapped up an unbeaten year-end Test series by smashing a hapless Pacific Islands 61-17 at Lansdowne Road.

It was the last time the famous old ground would host a Test match for a while, as largescale renovations are planned, and the home side certainly delivered a performance befitting the occasion.

They scored eight tries to three, in a result that never looked in doubt. The visitors were no match for a rampaging pack and an enterprising backline but did threaten early in the first half.

After Ireland opened the scoring in the 2nd minute through a converted try by Denis Hickie and a penalty by impressive flyhalf Paddy Wallace, the Islanders touched down to narrow the gap to just three points. Kameli Ratuvou chipped and regathered before feeding Seru Rabeni who cantered over the tryline.

That was however the closest they would come to Ireland, despite crossing twice more through Lome Fa’atau and Tusi Pisi on either side of the break.

The game was effectively over by half-time as Ireland added two more seven-pointers through Paddy Wallace and Malcolm O’Kelly to send them down the tunnel with a commanding 37-12 lead.

Man of the Match Wallace was clinical with the boot, scoring 26 points, and was a catalyst for many of his side’s tries.

Ireland closed out the game with a brace from Simon Easterby and one each by Shane Horgan, Rory Best and Paul O’Connell.


Ireland (37) 61

Tries: Hickie, Wallace, O’Kelly, Easterby (2), Horgan, R Best, O’Connell
Conversions: Wallace (6)
Penalties: Wallace (3)

Pacific Islands (12) 17

Tries: Rabeni, Fa’atau, Pisi
Conversions: Pisi