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Ireland got off to a winning start at the World Cup by downing tournament newcomers Jamaica 48-2 in Leeds, with Roosters playmaker Luke Keary leading the way in a player of the match showing.   

The Reggae Warriors were valiant in defeat, scrambling well to deny their opponents a number of would-be tries, but couldn't match the class of Ireland, who should have clocked up an even bigger score, if not for poor goalkicking which saw them convert just four of their 10 tries.

In his Test debut, Keary had 166 run metres, made two line breaks and was involved in three of his side's tries before being rested for the final 20 minutes of the match. 

Keary's halves partner Joe Keyes was strong too, running for 190 metres and steering the side around the park well. 

Ireland crossed four times for an 18-2 lead at the break, with Jamaica kicking a penalty right on the siren to mark their first ever points at a World Cup.

The Wolfhounds added a further five tries in the second period, with forwards James McDonnell, James Bentley and Frankie Halton all scoring inside the final 10 minutes as the Jamaica pack began to wear down. 

Although his side won comfortably in the end, a concern for Ireland coach Ged Corcoran will be the 16 errors made by Ireland, which saw them complete just 69 percent of their sets. 

Match snapshot 

  • After several missed opportunities early on, Ireland scored first through Louis Senior who crossed directly from a scrum. 
  • Captain George King and hooker Brendan O'Hagan then scored off simple one-out runs from close range. 
  • Ireland's fourth was scored by Ed Chamberlain, but had Luke Keary's fingerprints all over it, with the Roosters playmaker crabbing across field to set it up.
  • Kieran Rush kicked a penalty after the half-time siren, scoring his side's first ever points at a World Cup and making it 18-2 at the break. 
  • Innes Senior followed twin brother Louis in scoring a try, crossing for the second half's opening points. 
  • One-time Canberra Raiders prospect Harry Rushton set up Ireland's next with a deft kick for Toby King.
  • 17 minutes from full-time Louis Senior crossed for his second, before James McDonnell fended his way through for another. 
  • James Bentley and Frankie Halton added further tries late on. 
  • Ashton Golding was outstanding in a beaten side, making 55 tackles and running for 114 metres for Jamaica.
  • Kieran Rush scored Jamaica's first ever World Cup points with a penalty just before half time. 

Play of the game 

It was a family affair for the Wolfhounds, as two sets of brothers scored in the win. Twins Louis (two tries) and Innes Senior got over, while Ireland captain George King had the game's second try before little brother Toby scored in the second half. 

What They Said

"All the way back to being a kid, heritage has been a big part of my family. Me and my brothers, Dad's always passed it down. Something we've always been proud of. To realise that dream tonight is pretty special. I was quite emotional tonight when I finally got to see the jersey and see your name on the back of it would be one of the proudest moments of my footy career." - Ireland five-eighth Luke Keary

Keary on fire for Ireland

"From a coaching perspective, it's an amazing achievement, it has been a lot of hard work over a lot of years. There has been lots of times we've had to pay our own way to get to competitions so to be here and to experience a World Cup is a massive achievement for us."  - Jamaica coach Jermaine Coleman 

"I was disappointed with the way we dropped off a little bit. But it's a proud day for the team and nation. This was a starting point. We need to work on defence. That was a big area for me. We have to improve defensively. We've got to come out again and stick together. We have a great team spirit." - Jamaica prop Michael Lawrence

What's Next

Things don't get easier for Jamaica now, with the world No.1 ranked Kiwis their next opponent, while Ireland head to Leigh Sports Village Stadium to take on Lebanon.  

Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.