Ireland (18) 44
Tries: Bowe 2, Earls 2, Kearney, Henry; Conversions: Madigan 4; Penalties: Madigan 2
Romania (3) 10
Tries: Tonita; Conversions: Vlaicu; Penalties: Calafeteanu
Keith Earls and Tommy Bowe both scored two tries as Ireland complete a second bonus point victory in as many matches by overcoming Romania 44-10 in front of record Rugby World Cup crowd at Wembley Stadium. Earls - who went level with Brian O'Driscoll on seven tries in the showcase tournament - and Bowe scored in either half before replacement Rob Kearney and Chris Henry put the gloss on an improved second half display against the sorry Romanians.
The win acts as an ideal warm-up ahead of greater challenges in their next two Pool D matches against Six Nations rivals Italy and France, but Joe Schmidt's side march to the a sixth appearance in the quarter-finals continued with another easy win. Opposite number Lynn Howells, whose side were dogged for long periods before losing centre Csaba Gal to a yellow car,d showed signs of encouragement and scored through Ovidiu Tonita to provide evidence they can end the pool stage with a victory.
After New Zealand's win over Argentina had broken the attendance record for a World Cup match, the feat was repeated little over a week later as a crowd of 89,267, many of them hailed from Ireland, turned out as the momentum behind the biggest rugby showcase ever fails to abate.
Following the bonus point win over Canada in their opening game, Ireland rested a host of big-name players including captain Paul O'Connell, Connor Murray and Johnny Sexton but were still able to name the oldest team in World Cup history as they looked to make it two wins from two. Cian Healy's recall from the start was the most notable inclusion six months on from neck surgery which had threatened his participation.
Romania too had experience on their side, with their XV boasting a record 728 caps as they sought to avoid the ignominy of going a second straight tournament without registering a pool stage win. Howells' side, without the cited Valentin Ursache, provided staunch resistance in defeat to France but four days on from their heroics at the Olympic Stadium staying with the successive Six Nations champions would prove problematic.
Looking to satisfy the early expectations of a partisan crowd, Ireland put together 11 phases at the start of the game as they monopolised possession. Though back row duo Henry and Jamie Heaslip went close in the opening exchanges, Ian Madigan kicked them ahead only for Romania's first attack to end with the same outcome as Valentin Calafetnanu kicked through the posts.
Simon Zebo thought he had scored Ireland's first try of the afternoon, as he scampered through the Romania defence with a deft kick but the television match official would later show his foot had strayed into touch. After Madigan's second penalty had restored Ireland's lead they were eventually rewarded for their early dominance as a flowing move ended with Bowe going over in the corner for his first try for 10 months.
While many sides had struggled to see off the second tier nations in a competitive tournament, Ireland's relentless pressure ensured they were seemingly having no such trouble and a second try followed on the half hour as Zebo's beautifully floated pass picked out Earls, who made no mistake from 10 meters. But despite enjoying 76% territory in the first half, Ireland were unable to convert their dominance into further points as Romania's breakdown feistiness frustrated the world number six.
Less than four minutes after the resumption though Ireland stretched their lead as Eoin Reddan's perfectly paced grubber kick in behind the Romania defence was latched onto by Earls, who drew level with O'Driscoll with his seventh World Cup touchdown. The search for a fourth try and a potentially vital bonus point would however see a repeat of the same Romania resistance which had kept the scoreline respectable at half time and against France 96 hours previous.
It took a yellow card for Gal - for illegally slowing the ball down in a ruck right after Darren Cave had broken through - for Ireland to grab a crucial fourth try as fine midfield interplay ended with Bowe going over in the corner for his 30th international score. Replacement Kearney soon followed with a fifth after receiving an inside pass from Zebo as 14-man Romania's tackling failed them before a catch and drive produced a sixth for flanker Henry as the numerical advantage started to show.
Howells' side had been blown away in the final quarter of the contest but ahead of more winnable matches with Canada and Italy they were rewarded for their tireless effort as Tonita went over. But nothing could diminish the emphatic nature of Ireland's win which sees them, along with Scotland, as one of only two teams with maximum points from their opening two games.