Ireland's hooker Sean Cronin (L) is tackled by Russia's scrum-half Dmitry Perov during the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between Ireland and Russia at the Kobe Misaki Stadium in Kobe on October 3, 2019. / AFP / Filippo MONTEFORTE
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Ireland began to put their World Cup back on track after the shock loss to Japan but it took them more than an hour to secure a bonus point and strengthen their quarterfinal chances in an unconvincing 35-0 win over a stubborn Russia Thursday.Sexton, who was not risked against Japan due to a thigh injury, appeared to have Ireland rushing toward the bonus point when his textbook 13th-minute dink through was carried over by flanker Peter O'Mahony for just his second try in 62 tests.Yet Russia, who belied their lowly standing by giving Japan a fright and were mainly outdone by a short turnaround against Samoa, stayed competitive with Ramil Gaisin's smart kicking helping to keep Ireland at bay for another 20 minutes.The win puts Ireland on 11 points, while unbeaten Japan (nine) face Samoa (five) Saturday.
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