Cool Sexton stars on debut in Irish stroll
Ireland 41 Fiji 6
Jonathan Sexton impressed on his debut at fly-half with 16 points as Ireland warmed up to face world champions South Africa by dispatching Fiji 41-6 in Dublin on Saturday.
Sexton, standing in for Ronan O'Gara, converted all five tries – three from the sideline – and landed two penalties in wet and windy conditions for a perfect day of goalkicking and the man of the match award.
"Jonathan showed great maturity out there," coach Declan Kidney said. And the Fiji coach Glen Ella praised him, too. "I was impressed by Ireland's No 10," Ella said. "He has a bright future for many years to come."
However, Sexton is likely to make way for record points-scorer O'Gara and be in the reserves when the team to play the South Africa next weekend is announced tomorrow.
Flanker Denis Leamy is not expected to be available, however, after being stretchered off with an ankle injury.
Winger Keith Earls scored the first of his pair off a pass from Eoin Reddan, but Sexton's second penalty was all Ireland could add by half-time. Fiji's fly-half Nicky Little cut the deficit to seven with his second penalty straight after the break, and Fiji, despite being outmuscled, were competitive.
But when Little's pass was intercepted by Brian O'Driscoll, who ran 40 metres for a converted try, Ireland were out to a 20-6 buffer. Earls crossed for his second try in a backline move, before further tries for full-back Rob Kearney and winger Shane Horgan.
Ireland: Tries Earls 2, O'Driscoll, Kearney, Horgan; Conversions Sexton 5; Penalties Sexton 2. Fiji: Penalties Little 2.
Google trolls Tottenham with Oxford dictionary definition of 'lackadaisical'
Gabriel Paulista: Talented Brazilian could grow into world-class defender at Arsenal
Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
Floyd Mayweather ends the carnival this week and picks his next fight - but will it be Amir Khan, Manny Pacquiao or Miguel Cotto
Steven Defour: Anderlecht midfielder sent off after kicking ball into Standard Liege fans who unveiled huge banner showing him decapitated
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 3 Thank heavens for Louise Mensch and her foul-mouthed tweets to world leaders
- 4 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 5 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia