Ireland thrash Samoa
New Ireland boss Joe Schmidt's tenure got off to a fine start when his side secured a 40-9 win over Samoa in Dublin on Saturday.
The appointment of Schmidt at the helm of Irish rugby has yielded an abundance of expectation and this dominant victory justified the sense of growing optimism among those on the Emerald Isle.
After a subdued and stuttering first period, which saw both sides make an abundance of unforced errors, Ireland exposed the gaping holes in the visitors' depleted defence to score three tries including two for debutant Dave Kearney.
In truth, it was a lot more straightforward than many of the 45,000 in attendance would have predicted. The visitors didn't provide the level of opposition and resistance which their pre-match tag of potential giant killers or indeed current seventh placed ranking had indicated.
Nonetheless, with sterner tests on the horizon in the shape of Australia and New Zealand, this was an adequate start to an new era and in the process, laid a solid foundation for what's to come.
More to follow...
Tries: O'Mahony, O'Brien, D Kearney 2, McFadden
Con: Jackson 3
Pen: Jackson 3
Pens: T Pisi 2, Fotuali'i
Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Fergus McFadden, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip (c), 7 Chris Henry, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Mike McCarthy, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Rory Best, 1 Jack McGrath.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Declan Fitzpatrick, 19 Paul O'Connell, 20 Sean O'Brien, 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Dave Kearney.
Samoa: 15 Faatoina Autagavaia, 14 Alapati Leuia, 13 George Pisi, 12 Johnny Leota, 11 Brando Vaaulu, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 Taiasina Tuifua, 7 Jack Lam, 6 Ofisa Treviranus, 5 Teofilo Paulo, 4 Faatiga Lemalu, 3 Logovi'i Mulipola, 2 Ole Avei, 1 Sakaria Taulafo.
Replacements: 16 Ti'i Paulo, 17 Viliamu Afatia, 18 James Johnston, 19 Joe Tekori, 20 Alafoti Faosilivia, 21 Jeremy Sua, 22 Isaia Tuifua, 23 Fautua Otto.
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)