Ireland’s second string eventually puts Georgia away
Homeside ran in six tries in the second half after struggling to break down Georgia before the break
This was always the worry. Even the All Blacks, having been completely redesigned for yesterday’s narrow escape in Murrayfield, looked exactly what they were – a team playing with each other for the first and probably last time.
At least victory was never in doubt here.
The Ireland scrum malfunctioned again. Mike Ross gave up two penalties to Montpellier’s Mikheil Nariashvili while Dave Kilcoyne was screwed into the dirt by Stade Francais tighthead Davit Kubriashvili.
The Georgians didn’t disappoint in one area. Kubriashvili incensed Richardt Strauss when his hand drifted into his face while Viktor Kolelishvili’s boot caught the eye of Dominic Ryan, ages after the whistle had sounded.
Eoin Reddan complained to JP Doyle but the referee took no action.
Ryan had a fine opening half, as did Tommy O’Donnell, but Darren Cave made a rash of errors. His fellow backs were also guilty of not securing quick ruck ball, leaving Robbie Diack and others exposed on the floor.
Kilcoyne burst through the defensive line on 15 minutes with Ryan flinging a fine left-handed pass that eventually allowed Madigan to open Ireland’s account.
Madigan was next to race into open country before linking with Cave who threw a terrible pass to Craig Gilroy. The winger knocked on.
Ireland went to their maul in search of a score. It wasn’t for a lack of endeavour but some great, and illegal, counter rucking by Sale hooker Shalva Mamukashvili, along with O’Donnell’s fumble as he powered over the line meant Ireland went in at half-time just 9-0 ahead.
That coincided with Georgia scrumhalf Giorgi Begadze being yellow carded. They had been warned.
The damn eventually broke two minutes into the second half when Kilcoyne crashed over for the first try.
That allowed the Ireland management roll out what seemed the pre-arranged plan of hauling off Ross, with an eye to Australia in six days’ time.
Simon Easterby may be the forwards coach nowadays but the residue of John Plumtree’s one season drilling the Irish maul is clear to see.
The next try, on 50 minutes, was finished by Strauss falling over the line.
Georgia reacted by changing their entire frontrow.
They did run in a good try. Begadze got a yard outside Dave Foley and freed his hands, despite Ryan’s hit, to put Giorgi Nemsadze in space. Reddan’s attempted tackle was swatted away by the big lock.
Georgia came to survive, hence the constant spoiling, but there was a tinge of sympathy when number eight Dimitri Basilaia was sin-binned on the hour mark for kicking the ball out of a ruck. Jamie Heaslip did something similar against South Africa, yet no sanction followed.
D’Arcy is perhaps ready to return, with Ian Keatley finishing today’s match at inside centre.
The contest was over, not just because of Ireland’s dominance but Georgia were reduced to 13 players by Lasha Malaguradze’s injury.
Two tries followed from the impressive Felix Jones and another by Olding as the bookmaker’s 41-point handicap was hauled in by Madigan’s kicking clinic. Still, Foley got the nod for man of the match.
“That won’t be good enough for Australia next week,” said the Munster secondrow.
Scoring sequence – 11 mins: I Madigan pen, 3-0; 16 mins: I Madigan pen, 6-0; 40 mins: I Madigan 9-0. Half-time. 42 mins: D Kilcoyne try, 14-0; I Madigan conv, 16-0; 50 mins: R Strauss try, 21-0; I Madigan conv, 23-0; 56 mins: G Nemsadze try, 23-5; M Kvirikashvili conv, 23-7; 62 mins: S Zebo try, 28-7; I Madigan 30-7; 68 mins: F Jones try, 35-7; 71 mins: F Jones try, 40-7; I Madigan conv, 42-7; 74 mins: S Olding try, 47-7; I Madigan conv, 49-7.
Ireland: F Jones; C Gilroy, D cave, G D’Arcy, S Zebo; I Madigan, E Reddan (capt); D Kilcoyne, R Strauss, M Ross; D Foley, M McCarthy; D Ryan, T O’Donnell, R Diack. Replacements: R Ah You for M Ross (46 mins), S Cronin for R Strauss, D Toner for D Foley, R Copeland for M McCarthy, S Olding for S Zebo (all 62 mins), K Marmion for E Reddan, I Keatley for G D’Arcy (both 63 mins).
Georgia: M Kvirikashvili; A Todua, D Kacharava (capt), M Sharikadze, T Mchedlidze; L Khmaladze, G Begadze; M Nariashvili, S Mamukashvili, D Kubriashvili; K Mikautadze, G Nemsadze; G Tkhilaishvili, V Kolelishvili, D Basilaia. Replacements: L Datunashvili for K Mikautadze (49 mins), S Maisuradze for M Nariashvili, Z Zhvania for S Mamukashvili, L Chilachava for D Kubriashvili (all 51 mins), L Malaguradze for T Mchedlidze, M Giorgadze for L Khmaladze (both 54 mins).
Referee: JP Doyle (England).