We were at Thomond Park in Limerick to bring you all the crazy, fractured action as the Ireland Select XV – to give them their proper title – took on Fiji.
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Ireland 53-0 Fiji
17:12 – 17.12 – Ireland have scored three tries in their last five games and will be looking to an Ulster dominated backline to spark them into life. How do you think the Irish young guns will fare?
17:22 – 17.22 – Here are your teams for the ensuing try-fest. Yes, I’m predicting a rainstorm of tries – four at least.
Ireland: D Hurley; F McFadden, D Cave, L Marshall, C Gilroy; P Jackson, C Murray; D Kilcoyne, S Cronin, M Ross; D O’Callaghan, D Tuohy; I Henderson, J Muldoon, J Heaslip.
Replacements: R Strauss, C Healy, M Bent, M McCarthy, C Henry, P Marshall, J Sexton, S Zebo.
Mike McCarthy was a late replacement on the bench for Ireland. There are plenty of youngsters in Thomond Park today as they opened up the ground in an attempt to fill it.
Fiji: M Talebula; S Koniferedi, V Govena, J Matavesi, W Votu; J Ralulu, N Matawalu; J Anuyanutawa, V Veikoso, D Manu; Leonenakarawa, A Naikatini; I Ratuva, M Ravulo, N Nagusa.
Replacements: T Talematoga, M Saulo, S Somoca, A Ratuniyarawa, J Domolailai, K Bola, R Fatiaki, T Matanavou.
17:27 – 17.27 – These woman have a vested interest in proceedings. It is Caitlin and Keva Gilroy, sisters of Irish winger Craig.
17:29 – 17.29 – Jerry Flannery has been speaking to BBC ahead of the match. Here’s what he had to say: “It is exciting to see the young lads out there. They may not play much in the next six months, but they have a great future ahead of them.”
17:34 – 17.34 – Kick-off from a Fijian boot and Ireland are in good possession early on. A lot of nifty Movember moustaches on display in the Irish side. Check out the top 10 sporting mo’s here.
Fiji have conceded two penalties already and Cronin has located Tuohy at the first lineout. Good start.
17:37 – 17.37 – How many tries do you think Ireland can notch up this evening?
17:39 – 17.39 – Fiji offside and referee Leighton Hodges penalises them. Paddy Jackson steps up from 25 metres out, slightly to the left of the posts, and slots it over. Ireland 3-0 Fiji after seven minutes.
17:42 – 17.42 – TRY! Nagusa barges through and hammers Murray after Jamie Heaslip had been isolated on the floor. The scrum-half does well to retain possession. The Gilroy sisters are going to love this. Luke Marshall drew in his marker on the right wing and timed a beauty of a pass for Craig Gilroy – playing 14 – who dives over in the corner.
17:45 – 17.45 – Paddy Jackson with a sweet connection out on the right touchline and it is Ireland 10-0 Fiji with 12 minutes gone.
Team correction: Keith Earls is on the Ireland bench instead of Jonny Sexton.
17:51 – 17.51 – The rain is teeming down in Limerick as Gilroy kicks and chases but Koniferedi is home to mop up. Marshall’s direct running is causing problems for the Fijians but they wrest possession back and rumble up into the Irish half. Ross and Heaslip hold the man up and gain the attacking scrum.
17:53 – 17.53 – No indication as to why Sexton is missing from the bench but Ireland now have no out-half replacement. Ian Madigan, where art thou? McFadden can take the kicks if need be.
TMO! Looks like McFadden has a try.
17:56 – 17.56 – TRY! McFadden gets the nod for the five-pointer. He had the momentum to take him over the line and the video ref deemed there was no double movement. Jackson place-kicking like a dream as he gets the conversion to make it Ireland 17-0 Fiji. 21 minutes on the clock.
Marshall, Cave and Hurley all involved in the build-up and McFadden cut in well to score.
17:59 – 17.59 – We have a third TRY! Marshall and O’Callaghan teaming up well to keep the forward momentum. Play goes out wide and left before Murray locates Sean Cronin, who puts his head down and takes two Fijians over the line. Jackson adds the extras to make it Ireland 24-0 Fiji
18:02 – 18.02 – Kilcoyne penalised for an illegal arm bind but Ralulu opts to kick for touch and go for an attacking lineout, which Fiji promptly lose. Henderson barges upfield after the ball is thrown too long.
18:07 – 18.07 –
Great TRY by Darren Cave but woeful Fijian defence. He feints to pass to Gilroy but hops on the spot and bounds inside second-row giant Leonenakarawa and rides a challenge to stretch and score. The Ulstermen are doing a job here this evening. I’ve jinxed Paddy Jackson there as he misses his relatively simple conversion chance. It is Ireland 29-0 Fiji after 32 minutes.
18:10 – 18.10 – I like the looks of Marshall here. He scoops a bouncing ball up one-handed – Brian O’Driscoll style – and reverses his running direction before puncturing the Fijians up the left and offloading in the tackle to Darren Cave.
18:13 – 18.13 – John Muldoon drops the ball with the tryline gaping. Gilroy made the break and Cronin provided the muscular support but the Connacht flanker didn’t have the composure to convert a simple chance.
SUFTUM: Jackson and Gilroy celebrate. (©INPHO/Morgan Treacy)
18:18 – 18.18 – Late chance for Jackson to improve his kicking stats and why not. Radidi penalised for a tackle on Hurley. It’s a 35-metre effort from the left-hand side but it goes weakly right and wide. Fiji refuse to kick the ball out and run it out Sevens style before coughing up possession. HALF-TIME
18:28 – 18.28 – Time for another poll. Who do you think has been Ireland’s stand-out player so far?