Click here to Watch Ireland v Italy Live Sunday 4th October 15:45 GMT
Ireland and France were always expected to dominate Pool D, and that is just what they done so far. On Sunday, Ireland will play Italy, attempting to match the French record of three wins from three matches. Should they do so, the two countries will clash at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, in a straight shootout to decide the Pool winners. The “prize” for the losers being a quarter-final against the All Blacks.
Ireland have not yet been extended in beating Canada by 50-7, and then Romania by 44-10 at Wembley Stadium, in front of a Rugby World Cup record attendance of just short of 90,000. They may welcome a stiffer challenge this weekend, which the Italians should present, as better preparation for the French clash, than yet another comfortable one-sided win.
The Italians have been hugely disappointing, despite a 6_nations campaign that suggested they would struggle. After losing to France in their opening fixture by 10-32, they registered a first win of the competition when they played Canada in Leeds. Even then, they were extended all the way by the Canucks, before securing the four points with a 23-18 success. The last Italian win against the men in green, came in the 2013 6-Nations, when they won by 22-15 in Rome. Ireland have won the two subsequent games, and have outscored their opponents by 9-1 tries over the two fixtures.
Posted: 2nd October 2011
Dunedin is the venue for this week's Rugby World Cup match featuring Ireland and Italy, happening on Sunday, October 2nd at 20:30 local time. Ireland has a major advantage heading into this competition, and the two nations have a long history stretching back to 1988. Out of 19 matches, Ireland takes sixteen of those and the Azurri only have three. Also, these are recent matches, with Ireland holding onto a fifteen game winning streak that stretches back fourteen years. Italy's wins came in the first four meets but haven't been able to put up a fight since then.
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