It was a special night in Nantes for Johnny Sexton as he became Ireland’s all-time record points scorer in a 59-16 win over Tonga. 

The legendary fly-half was destined to surpass Ronan O’Gara’s total of 1083 points during the World Cup but the historic moment arrived in magical fashion in the first half.

Sexton’s longevity has set him apart from many peers and his trusted boot edged him towards O’Gara’s record before he eclipsed it after keeping pace with Garry Ringrose to collect the pass and surge over the line.

Sexton’s everlasting class will be central to Ireland’s prospects in France and they’ll approach a seismic clash against South Africa next before a potential decider against Scotland

Tonga’s passion and effort was admirable throughout but Ireland’s preserved their perfect start with a dominant victory.

Ireland struggled to navigate past a resolute Tongan defence during an arduous opening 15 minutes in Nantes. Sexton’s early penalty established an early lead for the Irish, but William Havili levelled after Wayne Barnes penalised Peter O’Mahony for obstruction. 

Ireland thought they’d made the perfect response from the resulting kick-off when Andrew Porter pounced on an error from Afusipa Taumoepeau to force his way over the try line, but the TMO ruled that Mack Hansen had knocked on in the build-up. 

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Andy Farrell’s side didn’t need to wait long for their try as Tadhg Beirne bundled over the line on 20 minutes after Caelean Doris bulldozed through the Tongan defence.

Tonga reduced the deficit through a perfectly struck penalty from Havili, but Ireland’s superior quality began to show as the first half progressed and the impressive Doris barged over the line after a well-worked rolling maul. 

Tonga’s early resolve waned under Irish pressure and Hansen showed why he’s regarded as one of the potential stars of this tournament. 

Despite his omission in the opening win over Romania, Hansen hit the headlines and Farrell rebuked suggestions it was a disciplinary issue in his pre-match press conference. 

Hansen demonstrated his quality on the pitch to collect Sexton’s bounced pass elegantly and weave past four red jerseys to extend Ireland’s lead. 

After Sexton’s historic moment, Tonga exerted a period of sustained pressure as half-time approached and they were rewarded handsomely. 

Referee Barnes brandished a yellow card to Peter O’Mahony for repeat offences and Tonga capitalised when former All Black Vaea Fifita scored under the posts.

Tonga’s man advantage only resulted in another three points before O’Mahony’s return and Ireland enjoyed complete control in the second half. 

Winger James Lowed scored his first try in the famous green shirt before Bundee Aki became the top try scorer in the tournament with his second brace. Rob Herring rounded it off with a late try.