Ireland continued their winning run with a 52-21 win over Canada in Dublin on Saturday, with Tiernan O’Halloran scoring twice.
It was a hard-fought win for the home side as the Canadians shocked the Irish with a perfectly timed interception from Canada winger DTH van der Merwe and a roll over try from Taylor Paris to make the 14-14 half an hour into the game.
Despite Canada’s emergence, Ireland kept control of the game after they went into the break with a 21-14 lead.
It was an incredibly positive performance for both coaches as Ireland’s youngsters showed there is a lot of potential for the future for Irish rugby while Canada, regarded as a minnow nation, displayed an incredibly gusty performance.
Ireland scored the first points of the game after they set up a maul on the Canada five-metre line before passing out to Keith Earls, who had no one in front of him, to score.
Ireland then drove home their lead when Marshall went over, after some great running rugby which led to Earls straightening the line and finding Jackson, who set released a long pass for Marshall to score.
Canada got their first points of the game when Marshall threw a loose pass inside his own 22, and Van der Merwe showed some impeccable athleticism to intercept the pass and score. They scored their second try moments after when Paris took it over the line from the maul.
Ireland restored their lead when Tiernan O’Halloran took the ball from a fantastic offload from Finlay Bealham to out sprint the cover defence for the hosts’ third try.
Ireland were then given a penalty try after they opted for the scrum, with Man of the Match Ultan Dillane impressing as they went through the phases, ending with a penalty right in front of the posts when Canada failed to release.
Canada scored another try through full-back Matt Evans which brought down the deficit to nine points. It was a fantastic defensive effort from Ireland as the ball looked to be held up, but was eventually called by the referee.
Ireland replied immediately after Earls was able to beat Van der Merwe on the one-on-one to claim the restart before the forwards took over and Dillane marked a superb personal display by crashing over.
Joe Schmidt’s side then went wide from a lineout and Ringrose sliced his way through the line with a swerving run before finding Earls. They recycled quickly while the Canadian defence was badly stretched which allowed O’Halloran to score and wrap up a half century of points on the scoreboard.
Tries: Earls, Marshall, O’Halloran 2, Penalty Try, Dillane, Marmion, Tracy
Cons: Jackson 6
Tries: Van der Merwe, Paris, Evans
Cons: McRorie 3
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 (c), 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, 7 Lucas Rumball, 6 Kyle Baillie, 5 Evan Olmstead, 4 Brett Beukeboom, 3 Jake Ilnicki, 2 Ray Barkwill, 1 Djustice Sears
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)
— Connacht Rugby (@connachtrugby) 12 November 2016