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Dublin: 5 °C Sunday 16 December, 2018


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Summer’s here, it’s World Cup year and that means… well, that means we can’t think of anything that rhymes with beer to signify that Ireland’s second tier players are hoping to climb the depth chart with some impressing displays in Georgia.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail, tweet @the42_iepost a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Hello, fans of summer rugby.

I’m here to talk us through the Emerging Ireland’s progress in becoming fully fledged ‘emerged’ Ireland players.

You may have already seen the team named by Allen Clarke yesterday (click through if you want the extra details around it), but here it is in full along with the XV named by our Azzuri friends.

EMERGING IRELAND: Tiernan O’Halloran (Buccaneers/Connacht); Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster), Eoin Griffin (London Irish), Stuart McCloskey (Ballynahinch/Ulster), Matt Healy (Lansdowne/Connacht); JJ Hanrahan (UL Bohemians/Munster), Luke McGrath (UCD/Leinster); Denis Buckley (Corinthians/Connacht), Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster), Stephen Archer (Cork Constitution/Munster), Ben Marshall (Old Belvedere/Connacht), Billy Holland (Cork Constitution/Munster), Rhys Ruddock (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) (capt), Dan Leavy (UCD/Leinster), Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster).

Replacements: Dave Heffernan (Buccaneers/Connacht), Andrew Warwick (Ballymena/Ulster), Finlay Bealham (Corinthians/Connacht), Andrew Browne (Galwegians/Connacht), Eoghan Masterson (Corinthians/Connacht), John Cooney (Terenure College/Connacht), Rory Scannell (Dolphin/Munster), Peter Nelson (Malone/Ulster).

EMERGING ITALY: Alberto Chiesa (Cammi Calvisano) (capt); Filippo Guarducci (Marchiol Mogliano), Roberto Quartaroli (Rugby Viadana 1970), Giovanni Massaro (Fiamme Oro Rugby Roma), Gabriele di Giulio (Cammi Calvisano); Carlo Canna (Fiamme Oro Rugby Roma), Simone Marinaro (Fiamme Oro Rugby Roma); Federico Zani (Petrarca Padova), Luca Bigi (Petrarca Padova), George Iacob (Petrarca Padova), Federico Ruzza (Rugby Viadana 1970), Filippo Gerosa (Rugby Viadana 1970), Matteo Corazzi (Marchiol Mogliano), Emiliano Caffini (Femi CZ Rugby Rovigo Delta), Maxime Mbanda’ (Cammi Calvisano).

Replacements: Oliviero Fabiani (Zebre Rugby), Giuseppe di Stefano (Fiamme Oro Rugby Roma), Pietro Ceccarelli (Macon Rugby), Alessio Zdrilich (Cammi Calvisano), Mirko Amenta (Fiamme Oro Rugby Roma), Simone Parisotto (Valsugana Rugby Padova), Giovanni Benvenuti (Marchiol Mogliano), Sebastian Negri (Hartpury RFC).

Rhys Ruddock, Santiago Vilaseca, Levan Datunashvili and Alberto Chiesa Source: GRU/INPHO

There’s captain Rhys Ruddock along with the men he’ll come face to face with over the next week: Uruguay’s Santiago Vilaseca, Georgia’s Levan Datunashvili and today’s opponent Alberto Chiesa of Italy.

Kick-off is not until 2pm, so take a bit of time out to catch up on the rest of this morning’s rugby news here, including how Ireland Women are getting on on their quest to gain an Olympic Seven place.

Not in to news? Here’s what we’re hoping to see from Allen Clarke and Girvan Dempsey’s side in the upcoming three games. 

Here we go, anthems time.

The teams are out on the field. What are you expecting from Ireland today? A win, a big win?



We’re treated to a rally of kick tennis before Conway fields a high ball and opts to spin wide. Healy makes the break and Ireland stretch the play back to the right before the ball is knocked on.


Powerful blue scrum and Maxime Mbanda peels off the back to make yards upfield. Ireland play out of their 22 before Hanrahan unleashes a superb kick from just outside.

Italy managed to get the ball before support arrives in the far right corner, but Ireland come back strong and Italy are caught offside just outside their 22.


PENALTY! Ireland 3 Italy 0 (Hanrahan ’5)

No problem for the soon to be Northampton man. Straight in front of the posts.


Italy unlucky not to make more of a nice break from di Giulio. The out-half linked well with his centre and delivered a deft chip towards Ireland’s corner.

Too far on too hard ground for his chasers and Ireland’s line-out is solid.

Jack Conan lays the platform for the exit with a solid carry through traffic.

Flag 12Mins

Good work from Denis Buckley to force a scrum penalty on halfway. Hanrahan kicks play up to within 10 metres.

Herring’s throw misses the target, but Ireland pounce on the ball, attack off broken play and it leads to….

TRY! Ireland 8 Italy 0 (Griffin)


Hanrahan missed the resulting conversion, but we’ll forgive him as it was a well-timed pass that put Eoin Griffin through the gap.

Lovely to see Ireland flourishing in broken play, scrambling on to the front foot despite the malfunctioning line-out.


Ireland go to the maul off the latest Italian penalty. They don’t dwell long after the collapse and go wide. McCloskey offloads well in traffic, but the overlap isn’t there and Andrew Conway is bundled in to touch as he attempts to step through three defenders.

We go back for yet another penalty, though, and an early yellow card for the Azzuri loosehead.

SIN-BIN:. Federico ZaNi


After the sin-binning Ireland knocked the line-out on, we’ve been bogged down in scrums and ‘who’s replacing the loosehead’ ever since…


Made in Munster.

JJ Hanrahan delivers a lovely cross-field kick into the arms of Andrew Conway, this time his step and finish yields a try.

Hanrahan is unable to convert again, another tough angle.


Scintillating break from Hanrahan.

The Kerryman brok the line in his own half a blazed a trail deep in to the Italian 22. Once caught, he released a fine pass to McCloskey. The centre, like all good one, busting a gut to stay on the 10′s shoulder.


If you’re not watching this yourself, rest assured we’ll try and get some footage on the site for you today. So far, the Georgian RFU’s feed has only given highlights of Eoin Grffin’s try – a decent try, but the worst of the three so far.


The penalty count just swinging back close to parity now as Ireland begin to lose a bit of discipline. Jack Conan pinged on the edge of Italy’s 22 there.


HALF-TIME! Ireland 20 Italy 0

Matt Healy broke away and looked to have put the perfect kick chase in, but his second touch off the left was too heavy and the ball boomed 40 metres and across the end line.

Here’s another look at Eoin Griffin’s opening try here.


After a not too brief stream malfunction, we’re back up and running in the second half.


Slow start to the half with Ireland having to battle out from their own line, but a penalty on halfway gives a platform in the 22.

Not straight.

That’s a killer. Italy opt for line-out though, so the position is still decent.


Hanrahan passes up a penalty 30 metres out, directly in front. Proper order, this game is about margin of victory no. No sense in being coy.


We’ve got an all new Irish front row now and Eoghan Masterson has replaced captain Rhys Ruddock.


I neglected to mention that Italy are again down to 14 men.

SIN-BIN: Ceccarelli.


Here comes John Cooney in to the game. Luke McGrath has had a good game, particularly good service for the opening try.

Conway is also coming out, Peter Nelson on in his stead with Tiernan O’Halloran shifting to the right wing.


Aaaaaand as the action slows to a crawl the replacements keep on coming. Andrew Browne on for Billy Holland.


Right, rugby: Italy have aline-out in Ireland’s 22. Those remaining on the field will be taking immense pride in that zero against Italy’s name.


The Azzuri penalised for handling on the ground. Hanrahan clears and that gives us time to tell you all about A REPLACMENT!

McCloskey off, Scannell on.


I think that’s everyone now, we’re safe from here on in.


Ireland making a late bid for a fourth try here, but  Italy’s defenders are fanning wide well and denying Matt Healy the space he loves to thrive in.

Ireland win a penalty on the 22, so we’ll go again from the maul.


FULL-TIME: Ireland 25 Italy 0

O’Halloran dives over in the right hand corner for Ireland’s fourth try right on the stroke of the final whistle.

Thanks for dropping in to see how your nation fared in glorious Georgia today, folks.

Stay tuned to the site later for more reaction, and hopefully, footage from the game.

About the author:

Sean Farrell