15Rob Kearney, FB
14Andrew Conway, W
13Garry Ringrose, C
12Bundee Aki, C
11Keith Earls, W
10Johnny Sexton, FH
9Luke McGrath, SH
1Dave Kilcoyne, P
2Niall Scannell, H
3John Ryan, P
4Tadhg Beirne, L
5Jean Kleyn, L
6Rhys Ruddock, FL
7Peter O'Mahony, FL
8Jordi Murphy, N8
16Sean Cronin, R
17Andrew Porter, R
18Tadhg Furlong, R
19Iain Henderson, R
20CJ Stander, R
21Conor Murray, R
22Jack Carty, R
23Jordan Larmour, R

*Players currently on the pitch are shown in bold

Game Info

Venue: Kobe Misaki Stadium
6:15 AM, October 3, 2019

Match Commentary

81'+135-0 End of second half
80'Finally, a match that ended as a contest after two minutes is over. Russia can take some heart and some credit from their performance, having spent a quarter of the match a man down, but the result was never in doubt.
80'Into the last minute. Ireland, truthfully, will be glad to see the back of this game. They're inching towards the knockout phase, where you have to think the tournament will really and truly begin for them.
79'And now Ringrose is going to have a second try! Or is he? It's going to the TMO -- the TMO says it's a clear knock on, so no try. Well... that's debatable. It ultimately doesn't matter to anyone bar maybe Garry Ringrose, but not sure that the TMO arrived at the right decision there.
77'35-0 Conversion - Jack Carty , Ireland
76'Larmour injects a brilliant bit of speed into things. From his own half, he bursts clear, then plays a one-two with Earls, and then sets Ringrose away for an uncontested run to the line. That's what Ireland can do when they put their mind to it.
76'33-0 Try - Garry Ringrose , Ireland
74'Everyone going through the motions at this stage. Russia relatively content not to be getting put to the sword by reputedly one of the best teams in the world, while Ireland have little to gain by doing anything all that adventurous. Joe Schmidt's side will be happy to wrap everyone in cotton wool and move on to their final match against Samoa.
71'Good steal of a lineout by Cronin, and that puts Ireland on the front foot. McGrath pulling the strings as Ireland go back and forth in phase ball, but they are again turned over at the breakdown. Artemyev gives it a cracking boot forward and Larmour kicks it into touch.
71'Substitute on - Sergey Ianiushkin , Russia
71'Player substituted - Denis Simplikevich , Russia
69'Substitute on - Roman Khodin , Russia
69'Player substituted - Anton Sychev , Russia
68'Player substituted - Kirill Gotovtsev , Russia
68'Substitute on - Vladimir Podrezov , Russia
67'Huge run forward by Stander, who feeds Cronin who is only just short of the line having gathered it midway inside the Russian half. And then Stander is held up over the line and forced backwards, and a handling error gifts away possession again. Frustration being shown by Irish fans in the stands -- this has been the story of the match for their side, unfortunately. It has promised much, in flashes, only to fade away to nothingness pretty quickly.
64'Player substituted - Bogdan Fedotko , Russia
64'Substitute on - Evgeny Elgin , Russia
63'28-0 Conversion - Jack Carty , Ireland
62'26-0 Try - Andrew Conway , Ireland
61'Finally! Ireland do something that is a level better than their opponents. A kick ahead by Carty is well gathered by Earls, who then ships an easy pass to Conway to dash home from near halfway. That's claimed the bonus point, and the job is done. But goodness, did Ireland make hard work of all of that?
61'Player substituted - Jean Kleyn , Ireland
61'Substitute on - Iain Henderson , Ireland
60'A charge down by Ringrose is immediately knocked on by Aki, who has been really poor today. He's now involved in a bit of push and shove as frustration gets the better of him.
58'Scrappy period of play after the change of possession, with Russia eventually awarded a scrum for a knock on. Ireland have been abject in this second half.
58'Player substituted - John Ryan , Ireland
58'Substitute on - Tadhg Furlong , Ireland
58'Substitute on - Andrew Porter , Ireland
58'Player substituted - Dave Kilcoyne , Ireland
58'Substitute on - Sean Cronin , Ireland
58'Player substituted - Niall Scannell , Ireland
56'Ireland now penalised for not releasing. The Russians are going to have a shot at goal for the first time today. It's from nearly halfway, but Gaisin fancies it. Oh dear, he snatches at it in an attempt to make the distance, and it's wide left.
55'Ireland have made virtually no inroads against 14 men either side of halftime and now five minutes into Ostrikov's sin-bin spell. There will be a bit of soul-searching after this match by the Irish faithful, who have travelled in good numbers to Japan.
52'More sloppy play from Ireland off a maul, with Earls running straight into trouble and giving the ball away. They're struggling to make things happen. A forward pass pulls Russia back, but they'll have the put in at the scrum for Earls' knock on.
51'Now, this could be interesting: we're up to a TMO for a dangerous clearout by Andrey Ostrikov, who is only just on the field. It's definitely high and it's going to be a yellow card for Ostrikov. Ireland have caught a break here, as Russia were just beginning to make their presence felt in the match, but that one was over the line, for sure.
51'Yellow card - Andrei Ostrikov , Russia
50'A massive punt forward by Vasily Artemyev flies over the head of Kearney and bounces beautifully into touch, deep in the Irish 22. If Russia begin to gain some confidence here, Ireland's desire for a bonus point might begin to get a little more desperate.
50'Player substituted - Rob Kearney , Ireland
50'Substitute on - Jordan Larmour , Ireland
50'Substitute on - Andrei Ostrikov , Russia
50'Player substituted - Andrei Garbuzov , Russia
49'The Irish defence manages to cover up enough to force a scrum out of the Russian pack. But they're having to dig very deep, much deeper than you'd have thought when Rob Kearney streaked through for that opening try after just two minutes.
47'Russia are back to their full complement of players after Fedotko's sin-bin spell ends, and the pack forces a penalty out of Ireland. It's becoming increasingly clear that Ireland aren't quite at their best in this tournament, yet.
43'So far, very little to report in this second half. Until, that is, Garry Ringrose makes a brilliant dart through the gainline and is one offload away from setting up that bonus-point try. Alas, he can't get it off and eventually Ireland are turned over. Russia have defended well in this match so far. And then a high kick goes towards Bundee Aki and he flat out drops out. Knock on, scrum Russia.
41'The big halftime news is that Jonny Sexton has not come back out for the second half. Jack Carty, who had an excellent first half against Japan, is on at flyhalf. News to come on whether Sexton's departure is planned or injury related.
41'The teams are back out on the field, and we are nearly set for the second half. Can Ireland wrap up the bonus point and accelerate away? Or will Russia put it the same level of fight as they did in the first half?
41'Player substituted - Andrei Polivalov , Russia
41'Substitute on - Valery Morozov , Russia
41'Player substituted - Evgeni Matveev , Russia
41'Substitute on - Stanislav Selskii , Russia
41'Player substituted - Johnny Sexton , Ireland
41'Substitute on - Jack Carty , Ireland
41'21-0 End of first half
40'Nope, they can't make anything happen and almost as soon as the gong goes, the half is over. A qualified success for Ireland in that the game is firmly in hand, but not hugely impressive either.
40'21-0 Start of second half
39'Russia have to kick possession away after the succession of rucks begins to take its toll on them. A high kick is well dealt with, and then Russia are caught offside once again. Sexton kicks deep from the penalty and Ireland will have one last attack in this half.
38'A deep kick by Earls is a bit of a test for the onrushing Russian fullback, Vasily Artemyev, but he does a fine job of taking it clean out the air on the run. Russia have the ball 10 metres inside the Irish half, and they'll be quite happy to soak up some of the 10 minutes that Fedotko is sitting in the bin.
38'Drop goal-missed
37'21-0 Conversion - Johnny Sexton , Ireland
36'The conversion flies over from Sexton's boot. Three converted tries so far, can Ireland find a fourth before the break?
35'The ball squirts loose carelessly at the back of the Irish scrum, but they cover it up quickly and will look to build. McGrath, the scrumhalf, is darting around looking for Fedotko's absence to leave a gap. And they've found one! TRY IRELAND! Rhys Ruddock is the man to have bundled over the line with the ball, but it could have been any one of the pack, the way that played out.
35'19-0 Try - Rhys Ruddock , Ireland
34'Ireland will have a man advantage either side of half time -- expect them to push for a couple of tries in that time.
34'Yellow card - Bogdan Fedotko , Russia
33'Another rolling maul, which Russia try to collapse and fail, and Ireland are laying siege to the Russian line again. To their immense credit, Russia are filling the ranks very quickly at each breakdown, and eventually the play breaks down for multiple offsides against Russia. There's a yellow card coming for Bogdan Fedotko, who is deemed to have taken it all a bit too far.
31'Sexton will kick for touch -- Ireland know the bare minimum here is a four-try bonus point, and they're "only" halfway towards that at this stage.
31'Ireland's pack gaining fantastic ground with a rolling maul, pounding forward at least 10 metres before turning it loose. They're into the Russian 22 now, but a knock on brings us back for a penalty against Russia.
29'Great kick forward by Ramil Gaisin, the Russian flyhalf, landing it about a foot inside the touchline in the Irish 22. Ireland take care of business at the lineout and even win a penalty to further alleviate the pressure.
27'A setback for Ireland as Jordi Murphy has to come off after sustaining an injury in a collision. That might be a rib injury for the man who only just arrived as an injury replacement himself earlier this week. On comes CJ Stander in his place.
27'Player substituted - Jordi Murphy , Ireland
27'Substitute on - CJ Stander , Ireland
25'Smart short lineout by the Russians, with Garbuzov jumping well to grab it. There's a penalty against Ireland in the lineout as O'Mahony was lifted across. There's nearly a chargedown by the Irish as well, but it didn't matter and Russia will clear to touch.
24'After a brief foray towards the Ireland half, Russia are back defending, with Kearney feeding Conway on the right to make good ground and set Ireland on a good footing. Sexton then kicks it towards touch, although he doesn't appear entirely convinced that that was the right decision. Lineout for Russia in their own 22.
21'And Ireland get in a knot at the rolling maul off the lineout, and they are called back for obstruction. That's a result for Russia, to come out of that period of play without conceding any more points.
20'Ireland have the ball again in the Russian 22. It's phase ball time, and Ireland are shifting things well. Russia are being forced to commit men but even that isn't stemming the green tide. Ireland two metres from the line. It's all being kept very close, and Beirne's desperate lunge towards the line falls short, and he loses the ball. The play will come back for Russia being offside, and Ireland will take the lineout and keep the pressure on.
17'A clever kick across field by Sexton is chased down by Conway and he takes a quick lineout. Then another crossfield kick from Sexton almost finds Earls with a flying attempted catch, but it goes to ground and the threat is temporarily over. Inventive stuff from Sexton and a real display of the vision and kicking ability he has at his disposal.
16'Russia caught offside at the restart, Sexton kicks deep and Ireland will have a lineout in Russian territory. This is no way to stop the onslaught, it has to be said.
15'And after a slight delay while Golosnitskiy was stretchered from the field, we are back underway.
15'Substitute on - Vladimir Ostrushko , Russia
15'Player substituted - Kirill Golosnitskiy , Russia
14'Easy conversion, 14-0 in 14 minutes. Meanwhile, Kirill Golosnitskiy has to be replaced as he collided with the posts in trying to challenge O'Mahony for that try. That's deeply unfortunate for the Russian centre.
14'Poor handling by Russia on the edge of their own 22 and there's a chance for Ireland. Sexton with a beautiful grubber towards the posts and Peter O'Mahony dives on it and over the line. TRY IRELAND!
14'14-0 Conversion - Johnny Sexton , Ireland
13'12-0 Try - Peter O'Mahony , Ireland
12'A couple of scrums, followed by a penalty, and minutes evaporate from the game. Scrums really have been a bit of a shambles at this World Cup, their only purpose being to while away time from the clock.
9'Nice move from a Russian lineout, and their handling in the backs is pretty impressive for a side that recently lost to Jersey in a World Cup warm-up. Gadzhiev has to fight for yardage once the ball gets into tight quarters. An up and under then tests Kearney and he fails completely, it drops between three Irish defenders and Kearney has to cover the ground and boot the ball rashly into touch. That was not pretty from Ireland.
7'A Sexton pass misses its target but lands nicely for Aki to keep the pressure on the Russian defence. Ireland only 10 metres inside the Russian half but probing for a breakaway line. They've been through 10 phases, 11 phases, 12 phases, but aren't making much ground. It may take some patience before this Russian pack wilts.
6'Ireland make a fudge of the lineout. They'll be looking for those kinds of fundamentals to improve through this match and the rest of the tournament.
5'Just for a moment, it looks like Galinovskiy is through for Russia, but his knock on allows Kearney to punt forward and a brilliant chase from Conway forces Russia into touch on the edge of their own 22. How quickly things can change.
3'Sexton knocks the conversion through, and the scoreboard is ticking nicely for Ireland.
3'7-0 Conversion - Johnny Sexton , Ireland
2'And a great start for Ireland! Great line of attack and a great display of handling from Rob Kearney and he sprints 40 metres to score the opening try. If Ireland take that kind of line and skill through these entire 80 minutes, reach for the record books.
2'5-0 Try - Rob Kearney , Ireland
1'A quick exchange of punts, and Ireland will have a lineout inside the Russian half.
1'And we are underway!
1'With the anthems done, we're about to get underway. Russia to kick off...
1'The teams are out under the roof in Kobe, and it's anthem time.
1'There was a late change to the Ireland 23, with Joey Carbery suffering with a sore ankle and Conor Murray replacing him on the bench. Meanwhile, Jonny Sexton is welcomed back to the starting XV after sitting out the defeat by Japan.
1'After giving Japan a bit of a fright on opening night, scoring the first try of the tournament in a frenetic first few minutes, Russia fell to a 30-10 defeat there and followed that up with a disappointing reversal against Samoa. They led 6-5 at halftime before falling apart in the second half, though they were perhaps a little unfortunate that two Samoans didn't get sent off in the first half for high tackles.
1'Hello and welcome to ESPN's live coverage of Ireland's weirdly crucial match against Russia in Kobe City.

Why weirdly crucial? Well, there's little doubt Ireland will win this match, and by a handsome margin, but after Saturday's stunning defeat by Japan, there is a microscope on this performance that might otherwise not have been there. It's not just by how many, it's the "how" that will matter to many onlookers -- can Ireland LOOK like potential world champions in this match, in the same way New Zealand emphatically took care of business yesterday against Canada?
1'0-0 Start of first half

Rugby World Cup 2019 News