Rugby World Cup 2015: Ireland v Romania

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Pool D

Ireland v Romania

Monday, 28 September 01:45

Ireland kicked off their campaign with a 50-7 thumping of Canada in arguably the most convincing display from any team in the opening round of matches. Joe Schmitd will want his team to replicate that performance in this fixture but will have to do so with an almost entirely different team after making 12 changes, with Italy and France clearly in the back of his mind. Romania produced another plucky performance by a minnow at this World Cup against France midweek. Their intensity at the breakdown caught the eye as they managed to stem the flow of Les Blues before going down 38-11. These two haven’t met since 2005 and Ireland will aim to make it nine wins in a row.

The Irish’s good run of form continued against Canada as they made it 14 wins in their last 17 matches which included two victories by more than 40 points against minnows. They are seven from seven against minnows at World Cups since 2003 with an average winning margin of 30 points.

Romania have had a four day turnaround in each of the last three World Cups and fared poorly on every occasion. In 2003 four days after facing Australia they got thrashed 3-50 by Argentina, they received a 77 point hiding from New Zealand four days after a clash with Portugal in 2007 and in 2011 they lost 9-25 to European rivals Georgia having faced England four days before. They have lost all six World Cup games against Six Nations sides since 2003 by an average deficit of 30 points.

We saw with Japan that perhaps the minnows will tire when playing twice in a short period and Romania’s history suggests the same may happen to them. So with that in mind, we are leaning towards Ireland here.


Key Stats

  • Ireland have won 14 of their last 17 matches
  • Ireland are 7/7 vs minnows at World Cups since 2003
  • Ireland have won all 8 meetings between these two teams
  • Romania have lost all five World Cup games against Six Nations sides since 2003

Recommendation: Ireland -40.5 points 1.98