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Ireland 24-6 Tonga – Rugby World Cup LIVE: Tadhg Beirne, Caelan Doris and Mack Hansen score a try each as Andy Farrell’s side build up a lead in Pool B clash

Follow 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. 

TRY! Ireland 29-6 Tonga

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

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 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.


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


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

  • TRY! Ireland 29-6 Tonga
  • TRY! Ireland 24-6 Tonga
  • TRY! Ireland 17-6 Tonga
  • TRY! Ireland 10-3 Tonga
  • A reminder of the two starting XVs


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