30 Aug 2015

Wales, Scotland and Baabaas record wins

8:32 am on 30 August 2015

Wales hung on to beat Ireland 16-10 in an intense Rugby World Cup warm-up game in Dublin this morning as preparations for next month's tournament went up a few notches between two near full-strength teams.

Wales rugby coach Warren Gatland.

Wales rugby coach Warren Gatland. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

After being blown away by the Six Nations champions in Cardiff three weeks ago when vastly different teams appeared, Wales looked sharper early on and Leigh Halfpenny booted them into the lead just before 20 minutes with a well-struck penalty.

Ireland laid siege to the Wales try-line in the closing stages but Sean Cronin had what would have been a match-winning try in stoppage time ruled out by the video referee after replays showed he'd been held up by full-back Leigh Halfpenny.

The match was veteran lock Paul O'Connell's last Test on home soil, with the second rower set to retire from international rugby after leading his country at next month's World Cup in England.

Ireland conclude their warm-up programme away to England at Twickenham next weekend, when Wales face Italy at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

Scotland ran in six tries to overwhelm Italy 48-7 in a one-sided World Cup warm-up game at Murrayfield.

Wingers Sean Lamont and Tim Visser crossed the line twice each for the hosts, who looked far more convincing than they did in their 16-12 win over the Italians in Turin last week.

Flanker John Barclay and centre Mark Bennett were the other Scottish try-scorers.

Captain Greig Laidlaw, recalled to the side, slotted over two conversions and four penalties and Finn Russell kicked a late conversion for the Scots who led 23-7 at halftime.

Centre Michele Campagnaro grabbed Italy's consolation try before the interval.

Japan completed their final warm-up match before the World Cup in grand style, thrashing Uruguay 40-0 in Tokyo.

The Cherry Blossoms ran in six unanswered tries, three in each half, to sweep their two match series with Uruguay after beating the South Americans 30-8 in Fukuoka last week.

Japan fullback Ayumu Goromaru scored his team's opening try in the 12th minute and landed five conversions to finish with 15 points.

Kosei Ono and Michael Broadhurst also scored tries before halftime as Japan went to the break leading 21-0 before Kotaro Matsushima, Hendrik Tui and Kenki Fukuoka added five-pointers in the second half.

Japan are drawn in the same World Cup group as South Africa, Scotland, Samoa and the United States. Uruguay are in the same pool as Australia, England, Wales and Fiji.

The Barbarians edged Samoa 27-24 in their friendly match in London.