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Recap Mail Sport’s live blog for the latest scores and updates as Ireland – captained by Johnny Sexton – take on Tonga looking to build on an impressive win over Romania. 

This live blog has now closed. Thanks for following our coverage!

FULL TIME – Ireland 59-16 Tonga

It’s all over!

Courtesy of another bonus point win, Ireland will head into their next showdown against South Africa in fine fettle.

That’s two wins from two at the World Cup.


TRY! Ireland 59-16 Tonga

Ireland have another try!

A line-out was overcooked and Herring snatched up the ball before crashing over from close range.

Byrne then coolly converted.


Ireland 52-16 Tonga

We’ve just been treated to a rendition of ‘I Will Survive’ that had the whole stadium absolutely bouncing.

It’s a party atmosphere among the Ireland faithful as they close in on victory. They’re playing this one out superbly.

Is there time for more points, though?


Ireland 52-16 Tonga

There’s been a real urgency about Ireland in the final stages of his one.

Once again, they are racking up points and breaking a sweat.

It’s another memorable evening for them at this World Cup.


TRY! Ireland 52-16 Tonga

Aki has bundled over again!

Ireland have set themselves up around Tonga’s line and, courtesy of more good play with the ball, teed up Aki through Henderson.

Byrne’s conversion means that, for the first time in their history, Ireland have scored 50 points or more in consecutive matches.


Ireland 45-16 Tonga

Ireland are working the ball superbly now and have certainly wrapped this one up, their second consecutive big win at the World Cup.

Lowe was again released into Tonga’s half after a scrum, before Ireland were awarded a penalty.

Byrne’s kick was unerring and to touch, setting up a line-out.


TRY! Ireland 45-16 Tonga

Ireland cruise further in front.

They snatched the ball from the line-out, with Byrne shifting to the line and releasing Aki.

He then charged right through the heart of Tonga and finished close to the posts, before Byrne added the extras.


TRY! Ireland 38-16 Tonga

Lowe muscles in on the act!

Ireland teed up a maul inside Tonga’s 22 and Casey, the replacement scrum-half, sent Lowe away through a gap.

He made the most of the chink in the armour and went over to finish.

Byrne, Sexton’s replacement, duly converted the leftovers.


Ireland 31-16 Tonga

This has become a little sloppy and scrappy now, in all honesty.

That, of course, suits Ireland and their dominance on the scoreboard, but both sides will be keen to cut out the individual errors.

Oh, as I say that…


Ireland 31-16 Tonga

NO TRY! Ireland won a penalty right under the posts and looked to run the ball over from a promising position.

Herring duly touched over after slithering his way forward, only for the try to be ruled out. TMO replays showed a double movement.

From the resulting penalty, Tongo kicked to touch.


Ireland 31-16 Tonga

That’s a concern for Ireland.

Replacement prop Bealham was forced to leave the field, with Furlong on to take his place.

Henderson and Henshaw have also been introduced into the fray.


Ireland 31-16 Tonga

I don’t quite know how Ringrose didn’t score.

Murray clipped a superb kick through and Fekitoa was deceived by the bounce.

As a result, Ringrose looked poised to snatch up the ball. However, he was unable to ground the ball and beat the turf in frustration.


Ireland 31-16 Tonga

O’Mahony has re-emerged after his spell in the sin-bin, with Ireland restored to their 15 players.


PENALTY! Ireland 31-16 Tonga

The first points of the second half have gone the way of Tonga.

A Tonga scrum in Ireland’s half led to a penalty, which Havili dispatched with no mistake.

That’s another three points on the board.


History maker



Here we go again!

There have been plenty of replacements for Ireland, with Sexton making way, the point-scoring record tucked away in his pocket.

The whole of the front row has also been changed.

HALF TIME – Ireland 31-13 Tonga

That was a thoroughly enjoyable first half spectacle.

Ireland ran in four tries, and scooped up the all-important bonus point, but Tonga have held firm and even crossed the line themselves.

Join us shortly for the rest of the action!


TRY! Ireland 31-13 Tonga

Fifita reduces the deficit! After yet another scrum under the posts, Tonga made it count.

With Fifita having burst through, Havili converted.

That is that for the first half!


Ireland 31-6 Tonga

Yellow card! Ireland are temporarily down to 14 after O’Mahony was sin-binned for killing the ball on his own line.

As a result, Tonga have a golden opportunity to narrow this gap before half-time and opted for the scrum.

Can they make this man advantage count?


Ireland 31-6 Tonga

The clock is now in the red at the end of this first half.


TRY! Ireland 31-6 Tonga

Take a bow, Johnny Sexton! The record is now his!

Just minutes after Kelleher was denied a fourth try, having failed to get the ball down, Sexton sealed Ireland’s bonus point.

Ireland’s record point-scorer picked up the ball from Ringrose and finished off a superb move. He then converted his own try.


Ireland 24-6 Tonga

This is a very healthy-looking scoreline for Ireland as it stands.

Tonga have delivered a brave fight so far and given glimpses of attacking spark but have also been made to pay for several errors.


TRY! Ireland 24-6 Tonga

Wow! Brilliant from Mack Hansen.

What a finish that was. Ireland worked the ball over to the right, before Ringrose launched a pass over to Hansen in space.

From his position near the touchline, Hansen danced his way around several opponents before dotting down.

Sexton made no mistake with the boot.


TRY! Ireland 17-6 Tonga

Tonga had absolutely no answers to that!

It was a superb line-out drive from Ireland and Doris picked up the ball off the back of the maul before going over.

Again, Sexton converted.


PENALTY! Ireland 10-6 Tonga

Tonga hit back and remain in touching distance!

Again, Havili made no mistake, this time from 49 metres.

That was another monster. Superb.


Ireland 10-3 Tonga

Ireland infringed at the breakdown after the restart and Piutau took the ball up. Tonga then opted to kick at goal again.


TRY! Ireland 10-3 Tonga

Beirne goes over! That was superb power!

Ireland won a line-out and moved quickly, with Doris charging through and passing to Beirne to finish under the posts.

TMO had a brief glance but the try stood. Sexton then converted.


Ireland 3-3 Tonga

NO TRY! Andrew Porter looked to have dotted down for Ireland after they scooped up a loose ball dropped by Tonga.

However, TMO replays showed Hansen knocked on, meaning the try does not stand.

Play was pulled back for a scrum to Ireland.


PENALTY! Ireland 3-3 Tonga

Superb from William Havili! Tonga are level.


Ireland 3-0 Tonga

A high box kick from Pulu led to a penalty, with Ireland pulled up for an obstruction.

Tonga chose to kick at goal.


Ireland 3-0 Tonga

Tonga seized upon a turnover inside the 22.

Fifita looked OK to continue, meanwhile, but went down again moments ago and looked in real trouble.


Ireland 3-0 Tonga

There was some concern for Tonga after Vaea Fifita went down injured and required treatment.

Tonga have been intense in these early stages but they need to keep an eye on that penalty count.


Ireland 3-0 Tonga

That was superb from Mack Hansen, who kicked superbly from inside his own half and gave Ireland a line-out just inside the Tonga 22.

Tonga did brilliantly at the breakdown, though, and forced a turnover. A penalty then allowed them to clear their lines.


PENALTY! Ireland 3-0 Tonga

Over it goes!

Sexton ran the shot clock right the way down to zero before taking his kick.

Ultimately, though, he handed Ireland the lead.


Ireland 0-0 Tonga

Sexton kicked into touch and teed up a lineout narrowly outside Tonga’s 22.

The side in green then earned another penalty, presenting Sexton with a shot at the posts.


Ireland 0-0 Tonga

Superb work at the breakdown after the scrum saw Ireland win the turnover and a penalty.


Ireland 0-0 Tonga

Ireland weren’t able to make the most of the opportunity and Tonga gained possession.

A forward pass, however, presented Ireland with a scrum inside their own half.

Shortly after, the referee reprimanded Ireland for engaging too early at the scrum, handing Tonga a free-kick.


Ireland 0-0 Tonga

That’s not the start Tonga wanted.

They were penalised for being offside within seconds of the first whistle.

Sexton then kicked to touch, allowing Ireland to restart with a line-out inside their own half.



We’re off! Tonga have got this Pool B showdown underway.


Sipi Tau time!

Tonga will now issue their traditional pre-match challenge with the Sipi Tau. What a sight!

There’s a real energy inside the stadium. It’s crackling!

Here we go.


National anthems

After both sets of national anthems, we’re good to go in Nantes.

Tonga were first up, followed by Ireland.


The teams are out!

To an almighty roar, both sets of players have emerged.

What an atmosphere this is.


Farrell: ‘We’re respecting the opposition’

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell, speaking to ITV: ‘The game is important to us. It is a completely different type of game compared to last week (victory against Romania).

‘We’re respecting the opposition because of the quality that is there, as a collective and individuals and coaching staff.

‘We know they are a big side, not just big but a physical side who can play the game. They have a very good set piece and good maul. They want to hit in defence so we need to move them about a bit.’


Almost time…

The two captains have posed for the pre-match photo with referee Wayne Barnes.

This is Barnes’ fifth World Cup, a record.


Atmosphere is building!

Plenty of supporters of both these sides have taken the time to mingle inside and outside of the stadium.

As usual, the Ireland faithful are clad in their bright green.

Some ran into problems entering the Stade de Bordeaux last Saturday, so thousands arrived early today in an attempt to beat the queues and find their seats.

Spirits are high and we’re rapidly closing in on getting underway!


Charles Piutau says Tonga are aiming for World Cup glory as he prepares for Ireland clash

Charles Piutau fulfilled a lifelong personal dream by making 17 All Blacks appearances.

But on Saturday night, the former Premiership superstar will play for his Tongan-born parents Manako and Melenaite when he represents the Pacific Island nation at his first World Cup.

Piutau, 31, is one of the headline figures to have benefited from World Rugby’s change in eligibility laws at the tournament here in France.

Now, he is targeting an upset of world No 1 Ireland in Nantes.


Charles Piutau says Tonga want World Cup glory ahead of Ireland clash

ALEX BYWATER: The former Premiership superstar will play for his Tongan-born parents Manako and maglie psg 2023 Melenaite when he represents the Pacific Island nation at his first World Cup.

Mail Online


Andy Farrell is risking injuries and suspensions with his first-choice Ireland starting XV

It was all meant to be so different.

Ireland will play in a stadium on Saturday evening with a capacity of a little more than 35,000.

It is neat and pleasant-looking, its stands stretching up towards cloudless blue skies yesterday as the Ireland team went through their captain’s run, the final, gentle work-out before Saturday’s meeting with Tonga…


Andy Farrell is looking to gamble on full-strength Ireland squad

SHANE MCGRATH: The uncomfortable feeling persists that change for the Irish team would be pragmatic, and that in eschewing it, Farrell is taking a substantial and unnecessary risk.

Mail Online


A reminder of the two starting XVs

Ireland XV: Keenan; Hansen, Ringrose, Aki, Lowe; Sexton (c), Murray; Porter, Kelleher, Furlong; Beirne, Ryan; O’Mahony, Van der Flier, Doris

Replacements: Herring, Kilcoyne, Bealham, Henderson, Baird, Casey, Byrne, Henshaw

Tonga XV: Piutau; Taumoepeau, Fekitoa, Ahki, Kata; Mausia, Pulu; Fisi’ihoi, Ngauamo, Tameifuna (c); Lousi, L Fifita; Halaifonua, Talitui, V Fifita

Replacements: Moli, Kolomatangi, Apikotoa, Mafi, Funaki, Vailanu, Takul, Inisi


Good evening!

Hello and welcome to Mail Sport’s live coverage of Ireland versus Tonga.

It’s the Pacific Islanders’ opening game of the tournament after they missed out on opening weekend, and it’s quite the challenge they face in Andy Farrell’s full-strength Irish side.

Kick-off in Nantes will take place at 8pm, but stick around as we bring you articles and more ahead of time.

Key Updates

This live blog has now closed. Thanks for following our coverage!

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FULL TIME – Ireland 59-16 Tonga

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TRY! Ireland 59-16 Tonga

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TRY! Ireland 52-16 Tonga

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TRY! Ireland 45-16 Tonga

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TRY! Ireland 38-16 Tonga

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HALF TIME – Ireland 31-13 Tonga

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TRY! Ireland 31-13 Tonga

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TRY! Ireland 31-6 Tonga

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TRY! Ireland 24-6 Tonga

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TRY! Ireland 17-6 Tonga

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TRY! Ireland 10-3 Tonga

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A reminder of the two starting XVs

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