Hooker Ronan Kelleher crossed for four tries as Ireland powered to an emphatic victory over the USA in Dublin on Saturday.
The Ireland maul was unstoppable as the hosts scored 10 tries in a 71-10 demolition of the Eagles. Five of those tries came after USA flank Riekert Hattingh – son of former Springbok lock Drikus – was red-carded for a high tackle in the third quarter.
Ireland coach Andy Farrell handed out Test debuts to four players in prop Tom O’Toole, flank Nick Timoney, centre James Hume and wing Robert Baloucoune after last weekend’s win over Japan.
Eagles coach Gary Gold made three changes from Sunday’s loss to England as hooker Joe Taufete’e, back-row forward Hanco Germishuys and wing Christian Dyer started.
Despite controlling possession for the opening quarter of an hour, the Eagles trailed after Carberry kicked a penalty for the home side.
Baloucoune then celebrated his Test bow with the best effort of proceedings finishing from 50 metres out.
A 21st-minute three-pointer from Luke Carty, who was born in Athlone and qualifies for the US thanks to his grandmother, were the visitors’ only points of the opening 40 minutes before the floodgates opened.
Kelleher’s first-half efforts sandwiched Timoney crashing over before the break.
Kelleher, who trained with the British & Irish Lions before they left for their South Africa tour, clinched his third five minutes after the interval from a rolling maul to make it 38-3.
With 25 minutes left, Hattingh was sent off for a high tackle on Kelleher in midfield before the hooker clinched his fourth of proceedings.
Stuart McCloskey, Hugo Keenan, Gavin Coombes and Finlay Bealham rubbed salt in the wounds for victory in Ireland’s final game of the season and their biggest win over the US since 2000’s 83-3 hammering in New Hampshire.
Gold’s men, who claimed a late consolation with Michael Baskas’ try, next play in September in a double-header against cross-border rivals Canada in a qualifier for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
© Agence France-Presse