David Foley enjoyed a dream debut for Ireland as he was named man of the match in the runaway win over Georgia in Dublin on Sunday, but the Munster lock believes the challenges are just beginning.
“It was incredible,” said Foley, one of 13 changes to the side that beat South Africa eight days earlier. “I suppose I’ve been dreaming about this since I was a young kid and you never know if you’ll get the opportunity. But I won’t be getting carried away with myself and the team won’t be getting carried away with themselves. We’ve got a massive task next week against Australia.”
Following a scrappy first half after which Ireland led 9-0, Felix Jones claimed a brace of tries and Dave Kilcoyne, Richardt Strauss, Simon Zebo and Stuart Olding all crossed, with Giorgi Nemsadze responding.
The slow start did not surprise coach Joe Schmidt given the number of changes made, but he was pleased with the way the players responded in the second half.
“It’s always a bit of a banana skin when it’s Georgia and you’ve made 13 changes,” he said. “Any team that makes 13 changes can be a little incongruent in putting things together and we were a little static in the first half, but we kept the structure.
“Getting that one just before half-time gave us a bit of confidence to up the tempo in the second half.”
Ireland: Tries Kilcoyne, Strauss, Zebo, Jones 2, Olding Cons Madigan 5 Pens Madigan 3
Georgia: Try Nemsadze Con Kvirikashvili
Ireland Jones Gilroy, Cave, D’Arcy, Zebo, Madigan, Reddan, Kilcoyne, Strauss, Ross, Foley, McCarthy, Ryan, O’Donnell, Diack. Replacements Ah You (Ross, 47), Keatley (Madigan, 55). Referee JP Doyle (RFU)