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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 3 June, 2020


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JOE SCHMIDT rang the changes for Ireland’s second Test of the November series, meaning a host of fresh faces got their chances to impress.

Dave Foley and Dominic Ryan made their debuts in Dublin, while Robin Copeland did the same from the bench.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the match. E-mail, tweet @thescore_iepost a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Good afternoon and welcome along to our live coverage of Ireland’s clash with Georgia in Dublin.

We’re up and running nice and early, so get your comments into us below. What do you expect from Ireland today? How big a winning margin should they be targeting? Or will Georgia prove to be stiffer competition than the odds might suggest?

Some shots of the Ireland changing room as Rala lays out the match jerseys. All quiet for now, but this place will be brimming with energy and enthusiasm very soon.

Lots of players with statements to make in Irish colours today.

Paddy Rala O'Reilly hangs up the Irish jersey's in the changing room Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

General view of the Ireland changing room Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

General view of the Ireland changing room Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

It’s a very proud day for Dominic Ryan and Dave Foley, as well as both players’ families and friends. The Leinster flanker and Munster lock make their debuts for Ireland in Dublin, fully deserved after strong form for their provinces.

Here’s what the pair of new caps had to say after being selected in Schmidt’s starting XV:

New caps Foley and Ryan enthusiastic about opportunity to impress Schmidt

A general view of Dave Foley's jersey Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

A general view of Dave Foley's jersey Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

A general view of Dominic Ryan's jersey Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

A general view of Dominic Ryan's jersey Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO reader Gavin Scott is not expecting Ireland to match the current margin among the bookmakers. The average handicap out there is roughly 40 points at the moment; can you see that happening?

Too many changes. But you need a good squad. Expect a 10 point win max,” says Gavin.

Chris Egan has been on to us on Twitter with his prediction for this encounter:

For those who might have missed the team announcement this week, here’s how Ireland will be lining up barring any late withdrawals.

IRELAND: Felix Jones; Craig Gilroy, Darren Cave, Gordon D’Arcy, Simon Zebo; Ian Madigan, Eoin Reddan (capt.); Dave Kilcoyne, Richardt Strauss, Mike Ross; Dave Foley, Mike McCarthy; Dominic Ryan, Tommy O’Donnell, Robbie Diack.

Replacements: Sean Cronin, Jack McGrath, Rodney Ah You, Devin Toner, Robin Copeland, Kieran Marmion, Ian Keatley, Stuart Olding.

We will get the finalised team sheet at around 13.30, so we’ll let you know whether or not there are any changes at that stage.

As for the Georgians, you may or may not recognise too many of the names in their matchday 23.

GEORGIA: Merab Kvirikashvili; Alexander Todua, David Kacharava (capt), Merab Sharikadze, Tamaz Mtchedlidze; Lasha Khmaladze, Giorgi Begadze; Mikheil Nariashvili, Shalva Mamukashvili, Davit Kubriashvili; Kote Mikautadze, Giorgi Nemsadze; Giorgi Tkhilaishvili, Viktor Kolelishvili, Dimitri Basilaia.

Replacements: Simon Maisuradze, Zurab Zhvania, Levan Chilachava, Levan Datunashvili, Giorgi Chkhaidze, Vazha Khutsishvili, Lasha Malaguradze, Muraz Giorgadze.

In terms of players to look out for on the Georgian side, we’d pick out tighthead Davit Kubriashvili of Stade Français, Montpellier loosehead Mikheil Nariashvili, Toulon lock Kote Mikautadze and Viktor Kolelishvili of Clermont as the best forwards on show.

In the backs, Agen wing Tamaz Mtchedlidze is powerful, while 21-year-old centre Merab Sharikadze is a linebreaking threat. We caught up with latter earlier this week and spoke to him about working with Irishmen Jeremy Davidson and Michael Bradley:

Georgian centre Sharikadze learning his trade from two ex-Ireland internationals

Good news on the Ireland team front – no late changes this week.

The Georgians are also as named on Friday afternoon.

For those who like to focus on the man in the middle, JP Doyle is our referee here in Dublin. Luke Pearce [RFU] and Federico Anselmi [UAR] will run the touchlines, with Jim Yuille of the SRU on TMO duties.

Ireland are in the house.

Dave Foley and Dominic Ryan are the new faces in the changing room today.

Dave Foley and Dominic Ryan before the game Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Joe Schmidt and Simon Easterby chat to referee JP Doyle, a native of Dublin.

JP Doyle with head coach Joe Schmidt and Simon Easterby Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

While Rala is looking very relaxed.

Paddy Rala O'Reilly Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Good point from Mike O’Neil in the comments section here. It’s a commentator’s nightmare this afternoon:

Poor Ryle having to swot up on all those names!

Ireland captain for the day Eoin Reddan has carried out the coin toss with Georgia counterpart David Kacharava.

Eoin Reddan and David Kacharavawith JP Doyle during the coin toss Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Also, it’s great to see Darragh Leader of Connacht out there warming up with Ireland. Providing injury cover, of course, but even if he’s not called upon, this is another little bit of experience in the international set-up.

Ireland have just completed their warm-up and are back in the changing rooms at the Aviva.

Joe Schmidt and Richie Murphy Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

The Ireland team warm up Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

5 minutes – Georgia lining up an early penalty here after sustained pressure…

6 minutes – But no! That’s wide to the right. Tough kick for Kvirikashvili to start with there, wide on the right. That said, he is left footed.

The penalty came after Mike Ross went to deck under serious scrum pressure. Poor start from Ireland, with little or no possession.

8 minutes - Ireland go on the attack now, with Cave and then Jones threatening on the carry…

10 minutes – A lovely raking kick from Madigan brings Ireland into the Georgia 22 for the first time, but the visitors cope at the line-out and then clear their lines. Ireland will look to build again from 40 metres out…

PENALTY! Ireland 3-0 Georgia (Madian ’12)

The Ireland out-half slots his first shot at goal after Mikautadze failed to roll away. That’s better from Schmidt’s men.

PENALTY! Ireland 6-0 Georgia (Madigan ’16)

An easy shot for the out-half from under the sticks.

19 minutes – Ireland certainly have come more into this game, as the Georgians are already losing their discipline, but still no real cohesion in attack. Kilcyone made a huge linebreak in the build-up to the second penalty, while Gilroy has threatened out wide.

Madigan is lining up a shot from around 45 metres out now…

21 minutes – That’s wide to the left!

23 minutes – The Irish crowd are doing their best to get into this game, but they need a spark from somewhere. Positively, Ross and co. are getting to grips with the Georgian scrum and Dave Foley is leading the line-out well.

24 minutes – There’s that spark! Cave with a break and offload to Reddan, who finds Ryan inside. Ireland up to the Georgia 22…

25 minutes – But that passage ends as Zebo is pinged for holding on wide on the left, just five metres out! Ireland ran out of support and get turned over. Better in attack and nice to see those offloads!

27 minutes – OOOOHH!! Ireland go very close to their first try! Madigan makes a big break in the middle and floats a lovely left-handed pass wide to Gilroy. The Ulster wing is one-on-one down the right, and dinks ahead, but he’s beaten to the ball behind the tryline by Todua!

29 minutes – Ireland get a penalty decision reversed there, kick into the Georgian half but then overthrow at their line-out. Real breakdown in communication there it seemed, no jumper even near Strauss’ throw.

Georgia fire the ball into touch on the far side though, and Ireland have another throw-in!

32 minutes – Gilroy knocks-on as Ireland shift the ball wide to the right. Frustrating error there in the Georgia half, and once again momentum is sapped.

Now Ross gets done for collapsing.

34 minutes - Play is back in Ireland’s half as Georgia look to build something in attack again. Milton Haig’s men have not offered much with ball in hand so far, although they have been in the Ireland half more than Schmidt might have liked.

35 minutes – Richart Strauss goes for a bit of a run as the ball goes loose and the Ireland hooker kicks it through and chases. Khmaladze is back to clear it up and kicks the ball downfield.

36 minutes – Now Ireland go to the maul after kicking into the left corner…

39 minutes  - Tommy O’Donnell just went close to scoring, stretching out his left arm, but the TMO shows he knocked the ball on! Had men outside that time, and perhaps should have passed. Missed chance for Ireland.

40 minutes – Ireland finishing the half with ball in hand here, 40 metres out…

40 minutes – Madigan releases Gilroy for a big break down the left!

PENALTY! Ireland 9-0 Georgia (Madigan ’40)

No mistake from the Leinster man after Begadze is sent to the sin bin.

HALF TIME! Ireland 9-0 Georgia

It would be interesting to hear Joe Schmidt’s take on that half. Georgia deserve credit for their spoiling of course, but Ireland have been poor so far. Lots of handling errors, some poor rucking, scrum problems; there are lots of things to be sorted in the second 40.

What did you make of it?

TRY! Ireland 16-0 Georgia (Kilcoyne ’42)

Ireland make their numerical advantage count straightaway as Dave Kilcoyne bulldozes his way through and crosses the line for his first international try. Madigan adds the extras.

- 46 minutes - Mike Ross’ afternoon’s work is complete as he is replaced by Rodney Ah You. Georgia, meanwhile, are back to their full compliment.

TRY! Ireland 23-0 Georgia (Strauss ’51)

A rolling maul off a line-out five metres out has Georgia on the back foot before Strauss pierces through to complete a perfect set-piece. Madigan slots over the conversion from a tight angle.

TRY! Ireland 23-7 Georgia (Nemsadze 56′)

Out of nothing, Ireland are opened up far too easily as Nemsadze ghosts through and touches down under the post to register his sides’ first points of the day. After a bright start to the second-half, Ireland fell asleep there and they were made to pay.

60 minutes – Not for the first time today, the Georgians slow the ball down at the breakdown as Ireland look for quick possession and referee JP Doyle has no option but to reach for his card. Dimitri Basilaia is the culprit this time and he’s off for ten minutes.

TRY! Ireland 28-7 Georgia (Zebo ’61)

Lovely hands from Ian Madigan and then Darren Cave creates the opening for Simon Zebo to race over before Madigan takes his personal tally to 15 with the conversion.

63 minutes – As Joe Schmidt empties his bench, there is real concern for Malaguradze as he lays prostate on the pitch receiving treatment from the medical staff. Not sure what happened but it looks serious as he’s taken from the pitch in a neck brace.

Copeland, Olding, Toner, Cronin, Marmion and Keatley have all been introduced.

TRY! Ireland 35-7 Georgia (Jones ’67)

Those substitutions have meant a reshuffle in the Irish back line and Jones profits straight away as Ireland pass it wide and the Munster man has the simple task of crossing the line in the corner. Madigan pulls the conversion wide.

TRY! Ireland 42-7 Georgia (Jones ’71)

Georgia are tiring now and Ireland are running riot. A quick turnover leads to Jones scoring for the second time in four minutes. Marmion broke with the ball in hand down the left before Jones completed a fine move. No mistake this time from Madigan.

TRY! Ireland 49-7 Georgia (Olding ’73)

It’s all too easy now as Georgia have fallen apart in the closing minutes. Stuart Olding shows his pace as scores his first international try.

78 minutes – Dave Foley has just been announced as the man of the match on his debut. It’s been a fine performance from the Munster man against a Georgian pack that made it difficult for Ireland during the first-half.

FULL TIME! Ireland 49-7 Georgia

After a slow start, Ireland sparked into life after the break and converted their dominance into points with six tries in the second-half. That’s two wins from two in this November series for Joe Schmidt’s side. Next week, Australia are the visitors to the Aviva Stadium.

That’s all from Dublin 4 this afternoon but stay tuned for plenty of reaction on the site throughout the evening…

About the author:

Murray Kinsella