Second-string Ireland smash Canada

Sat, 12 Nov 2016 21:32
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MATCH REPORT: An inexperienced Ireland backed up last week's historic win over New Zealand with an eight-try, 52-21 dismantling of Canada at Lansdowne Road on Saturday.

Eight players won their first Test caps for Joe Schmidt's men in the rout, with experienced duo Sean O'Brien and captain Peter O'Mahony playing 68 and 80 minutes respectively as they push for inclusion in next weekend's return match with New Zealand.

Mark Anscombe's Canada pledged to "give it a go" and were tied 14-14 at the half hour mark but the hungry Irish pulled clear after the restart, scoring four tries after the hour to streak clear.

The mix of fresh blood and hungry returning stars eager to push into next week's starting XV ensured a high tempo from the off, and Ireland scored a try on their first serious foray into the Canadian 22 just six minutes in.

The line-out maul that was so effective against New Zealand last weekend was the source once more, with 31-year-old debutant Billy Holland commanding the pack after collecting Sean Cronin's lineout.

Scrumhalf Kieran Marmion sniped cleverly from the back, drawing two Canadian defenders before popping the ball to Keith Earls for an easy score.

After Jackson added the extras the green tide continued to flow, although the hosts lacked the same clinical qualities that delivered the opening score, with handling errors denying Sean O'Brien a comeback try and Garry Ringrose denied a score on his debut when the pass was judged forward.

There was no mistake for Ireland's second try, when Paddy Jackson fed Ulster team-mate Luke Marshall out wide, but it was the dancing feet of Earls in the buildup that made it happen, slaloming inside and out before offloading at the perfect moment.

Marshall's celebration was relatively short lived, with his attempted skip pass from inside Ireland's own 22 intercepted by DTH Van der Merwe. Ringrose caught hold of his shirt, but the Scarlets wing pumped his legs and dragged the Ireland centre over the line with him to touch down for his 21st try in 40 tests.

The Canadians were now showing their own ruthless side, drawing level within five minutes after a lineout maul of their own. Evan Olmstead collected and roared on his pack, who surged toward the line with some force, with wing Taylor Paris eventually touching down.

Canada were level for just nine minutes before O'Halloran scored the hosts' third try, racing home from almost the halfway line, with a wonderful offload from Connacht team-mate Finlay Bealham setting the fullback free.

There were some heated exchanges as the sides went into the dressing room at half-time, with Sean O'Brien and Olmstead squaring up before almost everyone else joined in.

Ireland took that intensity into the second half with them and drew a penalty try.

Dillane was once more the man to get Ireland on the front foot and following a penalty from the first scrum near the posts, Ireland went back to the set-piece and the ensuing collapsing Canadian pack were punished by referee Marius van der Westhuizen.

Canada didn't buckle, however, and Matt Evans scored their third try as the hour approached, the fullback touching down despite a remarkable defensive effort from the covering O'Halloran.

Again, though, the joy was short lived as Dillane got the try his all round play deserved, punching home from close range.

Ireland's debutant count shot up at the point, with Dan Leavy, Niyi Adeolokun, James Tracy, John Ryan and Luke McGrath winning their first caps off the bench.

McGrath replaced scrumhalf Kieran Marmion, whose last act was to score Ireland's sixth try of the night.

Two more tries arrived as the final whistle approached, O'Halloran scoring a second after a sharp offload by Ringrose, with prop Tracy rounding off the scoring with a close range shove to mark his debut in the best possible way.

Scorers:

For Ireland:
Tries: Earls, Marshall, O'Halloran 2, Penalty try, Dillane, Marmion, Tracy
Cons: Jackson 6

For Canada:
Tries: van der Merwe, Paris, Evans
Cons: McRorie 3

Teams:

Ireland: 15 Tiernan O'Halloran, 14 Craig Gilroy, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Luke Marshall, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Jack O'Donoghue, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 Billy Holland, 4 Ultan Dillane, 3 Finlay Bealham, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 James Tracy, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 John Ryan, 19 Donnacha Ryan, 20 Dan Leavy, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Joey Carbery, 23 Niyi Adeolokun.

Canada: 15 Matt Evans, 14 DTH van der Merwe, 13 Conor Trainor, 12 Ciaran Hearn, 11 Taylor Paris, 10 Connor Braid, 9 Gordon McRorie, 8 Aaron Carpenter (captain), 7 Lucas Rumball, 6 Kyle Baillie, 5 Evan Olmstead, 4 Brett Beukeboom, 3 Jake Ilnicki, 2 Ray Barkwill, 1 Djustice Sears-Duru.
Replacements: 16 Eric Howard, 17 Rob Brouwer, 18 Matt Tierney, 19 Admir Cejvanovic, 20 Matt Heaton, 21 Phil Mack, 22 Patrick Parfrey, 23 Nick Blevins.

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Matthew Carley (England), Thomas Charabas (France)
TMO: Tim Hayes (Wales)

Agence France-Presse