O’Halloran stunned by Russian’s poor fitness in World Cup warm-up

Connacht full-back Tiernan O’Halloran said they were shocked how unfit Russia were when they played them in Moscow in their final World Cup warm-up match.

O’Halloran stunned by Russian’s poor fitness in World Cup warm-up

Connacht full-back Tiernan O’Halloran said they were shocked how unfit Russia were when they played them in Moscow in their final World Cup warm-up match.

Twelve of the squad which was hammered 42-12 by Connacht will feature tomorrow for Russia against Ireland in Kobe.

It was the third heavy defeat for the Russians before they departed for Japan, with Italy beating them by 85-15 and club side Jersey Reds defeating them by 35-22.

Connacht expected a tough encounter with the Russians but ran in six tries in Moscow, with some of the token resistance coming in the form of a try from Vasily Artemyev, the former Blackrock College and UCD player, who will captain them against Ireland tomorrow.

“We saw the couple of results they played before us but they put out what seemed on paper one of their strongest sides against us,” said O’Halloran, who won the last of six Irish caps in Japan two years ago.

“Their fitness levels and things like that were a bit of a surprise to us. It was strange to see that from a team going into a World Cup, you would have thought all the nations would have been primed for such a big occasion, so I think it was clear even then that they were going to struggle in Japan. But I suppose it is an opportunity for Ireland now,” added O’Halloran.

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