Veteran Johnny Sexton sets points record as Ireland beat Tonga in World Cup

Ireland's centre Bundee Aki runs with the ball surrounded by Tonga's players during their Rugby World Cup Pool B match at the Stade de la Beaujoire in Nantes on Saturday

Ireland's centre Bundee Aki runs with the ball surrounded by Tonga's players during their Rugby World Cup Pool B match at the Stade de la Beaujoire in Nantes on Saturday. Photo: Loic Venance/AFP

Published Sep 16, 2023

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Johnny Sexton became Ireland's all-time leading points scorer as the Six Nations champions continued their impressive start to the Rugby World Cup with a 59-16 win over a committed Tonga side on Saturday.

The top-ranked Irish were given a thorough workout by the physical Tongans ahead of their crunch Pool B matches against South Africa and Scotland but eight tries, two from centre Bundee Aki, got them safely across the line.

Flyhalf Sexton scored his team's fourth try in the 38th minute to surpass Ronan O'Gara's tally of 1,083 points and secure a bonus point before leaving his team mates to complete Ireland's 15th straight win.

Number eight Vaea Fifita, one of four former All Blacks in the Tonga side, scored his team's only try just before halftime as Ireland successfully shackled the elite talent in their opponents' backline.

Reuters