Ireland have rested many of their top players but it should not jeopardise their chances of a generous victory against minnows Russian in their Pool C match in Rotorua on Sunday.
After all, that is what Italy did when they played Russia on Tuesday and they had no difficulty.
Then the Russians, euphoric at being at the World Cup, still had hopes of winning, of getting over the disappointment of defeat at the hands of the United States.
Now they play Ireland, vanquishers of the mighty Australians, and the Bears, too, have changed many.
There is the air of 'foregone conclusion' about this match.
Ireland have changed 10, Russia nine. But Ireland have retained three of the most influential members of the pack that destroyed the Wallabies - No.8 Jamie Heaslip, strong flank Sean O'Brien and the loosehead
Against Italy the Russian loose forwards - No.8 Victor Gresev and flank Andrei Garbuzov were the pick of their side. Ireland are taking no chances there. Russia have brought in 35-year old tighthead Alexander Khrokin, the most capped player in the Russian squad with 67 caps. And there Ireland have retained Cian Healy who was such a star against Australia.
The Russians will be ardent and well organised but it is hard to see where they could possibly beat the Irish, individually or in units. In fact the Russians could well find getting primary possession a task beyond them.
Ireland have tall men in their line-out, Leo Cullen and Donncha O'Callaghan at lock to start with. The Russians lost 6/13 line-outs against the United States and four out of 11 against Italy. against Italy they were penalised five times at scrums, including a penalty try. They could just have a lot of tackling to do against Ireland.
Players to Watch:
For Russia: You will look at Denis Simplikevich, their youngest player at 20 and uncapped and like most of his side will be itching to get into action. In the Russian pack Victor Gresev had a great game against Italy. He is one player who will battle against the tide. And then there is their tiny scrumhalf Alexander Yanyushkin, who is captaining the side.
For Ireland: Captain Leo Cullen will be playing in the World Cup for the first time. Keith Earls of Ireland is exciting when he gets a chance to go on his mazy runs and Rob Kearney could well spark effective counterattack. In the pack Sean O'Brien is a world class player.
Head to Head: Jamie Heaslip and Sean O'Brien against Victor Gresev and Andrei Garbuzov. But the big head-to-head will be Russian tackling if the Irish start running, as they are expected to do. In this third round the teams with less experience and fewer resources are suffering more than earlier on, as is to be expected.
2002 : Ireland won 35-3, Krasnoyarsk
Prediction: Ireland to win by more than 30.
Ireland: 15 Robert Kearney, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Keith Earls, 12 Paddy Wallace, 11 Andrew Trimble, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Donnacha Ryan, 5 Leo Cullen (captain), 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Tony Buckley, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Rory Best, 17 Mike Ross, 18 Denis Leamy, 19 Shane Jennings, 20 Eoin Reddan, 21 Jonathan Sexton, 22 Geordan Murphy.
Russia: 15 Vasily Artemyev, 14 Denis Simplikevich, 13 Andrey Kuzin, 12 Sergey Trishin, 11 Vladimir Ostroushko, 10 Konstantin Rachkov, 9 Alexander Yanyushkin (captain), 8 Victor Gresev, 7 Andrey Garbuzov, 6 Artem Fatakhov, 5 Adam Byrnes, 4 Denis Antonov, 3 Alexander Khrokin, 2 Valery Tsnobiladze, 1 Sergey Popov.
Replacements: 16 Evgeny Matveev, 17 Ivan Prishchepenko, 18 Alexey Travkin, 19 Alexander Voytov, 20 Andrey Bykanov, 21 Mikhail Sidorov, 22 Mikhail Babaev.
Date: Sunday, 25 September 2011
Venue: Rotorua International Stadium, Rotorua
Kick-off: 18.00 (05.00 GMT)
Expected weather: There is a 50 percent chance of rain with a high of 14°C, dropping to 5°C.
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Dave Pearson (England), Jérôme Garces (France)
TMO: Giulio De Santis (Italy)
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