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Bundee Aki celebrates
Bundee Aki was one of four Ireland players to score two tries against Romania

Andy Farrell says Ireland needed a half-time chat about their discipline as they thumped Romania 82-8 in their World Cup opener in Bordeaux.

Head coach Farrell’s men conceded a surprise third-minute try before regrouping to go on and secure their record victory in a World Cup match.

“It’s great to get it underway, mind you it wasn’t great after a couple of minutes,” Farrell told ITV.

“After what happened at the start, you have to dust yourself down.

“You have to get back on point and we did that pretty quickly but I actually thought in the first half we stopped our flow a little bit with ill-discipline, our communication and at line-breaks.

“We chatted about that at half-time and I thought our flow, discipline and calmness in the second half was pretty ruthless.

“The odds from the bookmakers was about 60 points and they don’t often get that too wrong, so to get 80 points, we have to be happy with that.”

A major positive from the opening Pool B match for Ireland was the return of captain Johnny Sexton, who played for 65 minutes in what was his first competitive game since March.

The 38-year-old became Ireland’s oldest Test player as well as their record points scorer at the World Cup, scoring two tries and kicking seven conversions to overtake Ronan O’Gara with what was his own highest tally in a Test match.

Watch: Herring savours try on World Cup debut

“Wow, yeah, I didn’t know all of that [about Sexton] but we will take it,” Farrell continued.

“I suppose the most important thing for us is that he got through 60-odd minutes, played pretty well and will be ready to go again next week.”

He stopped short, however, of confirming that Sexton would start next week against Tonga.

“We’ll see. We’ll dust off on Sunday and Monday then make a plan because there is one thing for sure – next week is going to be a bit tougher than that.”

Sexton ‘delighted to get some minutes’

Johnny Sexton celebrates
Sexton became Ireland’s highest points scorer in the World Cup

Sexton was unable to take part in Ireland’s three pre-World Cup warm-up games because of suspension and had not played since Ireland beat England in March to clinch the Grand Slam.

He came up feeling his wrist after being tackled while scoring his first try just before half time, but recovered to continue a dominant performance and add a second try before being replaced by Jack Crowley.

But the fly-half played down the new individual records he set, instead choosing to talk about areas of his game he can work on.

“Age is just a number. I’m just delighted to be back and to experience something like this. It has been a long time out and I’m thankful for it,” he said.

“There is lots of stuff individually that I need to get right. You can train all you want but until you are in the heat of battle in a proper match it doesn’t test you properly.

“We are delighted with the result and to get a points difference like that. We knew at the start it was going to be a tough game, especially with Romania being very physical, and they certainly didn’t let us down in that regard.

“But when you get a crowd like this – I was telling the boys all week we would fill out this stadium and thankfully the supporters didn’t make a liar out of me.

“These are unbelievable days that the supporters give us so, from us, ‘thank you very much’ and I hope we gave them something to cheer about. ”

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