Eight tries to two completed a successful unbeaten November International campaign for Joe Schmidt’s side as Ireland overcame the USA Eagles 57-14.
Five-pointers from Andrew Conway (3), Jack Conan, Tadhg Beirne, Staurt McCloskey, Quinn Roux and John Ryan, with all but one of them converted by Joey Carbery, who also added a penalty for good measure, gave the home side a comprehensive win over the visitors.
In Ireland’s third and final game of the 2018 Guinness Series, Joe Schmidt’s very much changed side didn’t get all things their way in the opening period of the first half despite winger Andrew Conway opening the scoring within minutes of the start.
Conway put Rhys Ruddock away before the Irish captain for the day broke through the USA defence, only to again find Conway supporting on the wing before he burst through to claim the first of his hat-trick of tries. With Conway’s Munster team mate Joey Carbery adding the conversion, Ireland were 7-0 ahead.
Powerful front row Joe Taufete’e soon showed Ireland that their task would not be as easy as some had suggested prior to the game. The Worcester Warriors man scored a try after soft home defence allowed the hooker through to touch down for a five-pointer. Full back Will Hooley, who had earlier missed an easy penalty kick, made no mistake this time with the conversion as he dissected the posts for a 7-7 scoreline.
Conway doubled his number of tries when scoring wide out on the wing in front of the West Stand. As the hosts powered to the Eagles’ line, the ball went through numerous pairs of Irish hands before finally finding Conway near the touchline and the Dubliner scored. An excellent kick from Joey Carbery from the touchline pushed Ireland out to 14-7, with 18 minutes on the clock.
When the USA won a lineout and drove Ireland backwards, the home side was forced to pull down the maul, giving New Zealand referee Ben O’Keeffe no option other than to immediately award a penalty try to level the score. O’Keeffe decided Iain Henderson was the guilty party and sin-binned the Ulsterman for ten minutes.
Carbery’s penalty kick from directly in front of the posts pushed Ireland ahead again before Jack Conan extended the lead with his 5th International try in 11 Ireland appearances. With Carbery again successfully kicking the conversion Joe Schmidt’s men entered the dressing room 24-14 ahead at the interval.
Tadhg Beirne scored Ireland’s next try in the 52nd minute, the game’s first score of the second half, with referee O’Keeffe consulted with the TMO to check the grounding before confirming the score. Carbery maintained his impressive scoring record for the day to increase Ireland’s lead to 31-14.
Ross Byrne showed his alertness and his precision when a beautiful cross-field kick sent Stuart McCloskey in for his first try for Ireland just before the final quarter. When Joe Carbery missed the difficult conversion attempt Ireland were 36-14.
Replacement Quinn Roux got in on the try scoring when crashing over from close range, claiming his 6th Ireland try, with Carbery easily slotting the extras over from directly in front of the posts.
The impressive and dangerous-looking Garry Ringrose glided across the Aviva Stadium turf to provide Man of the Match Conway with his hat trick of tries in the dying minutes of the game, before Carbery converted.
John Ryan scored his debut try for his country with the clock in red to end an impressive front row performance from the Munster prop. With Carbery adding the two-point conversion, Ireland ran out impressive 57-14 winners.
Final score: Ireland 57 USA 14