This last-ditch tackle will probably prove to be the most important of Peter O’Mahony’s entire career.
The Ireland back’s try-saving intervention in the second half helped secured his country a nervy 16-9 victory over Italy, which takes them into the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup 2015.
Keith Earles crossed for the only try of the contest at Olympic Park on 19 minutes, helping Ireland open up a 10-6 half-time lead which was restricted by the boot of Italian fly-half Tommaso Allan.
Another Allan penalty reduced Ireland’s advantage to one after the break, and only heroics from O’Mahony as Josh Furno ran towards the wash kept Joe Schmidt’s side ahead in a crunch Pool D clash.
Jonny Sexton kicked Ireland over the line and sent them top of the group ahead of their match against France next Sunday, which will decide which currently unbeaten team has potentially the easier draw.
After defeats to both of their Six Nations rivals, Italy can no longer qualify for the last eight, but they do have a chance to finish the tournament on a winning note when they face Romania.
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