DUBLIN (AP) — Ireland showed off its profound talent pool when its second-stringers swallowed a powerful United States begin then smashed the Eagles 57-14 in Lansdowne Road on Saturday.
But the attempt took a toll on the Eagles, and their unprecedented nine-test winning streak ended with their loss of the year.
Ireland wore down them by pounding their lineup with their big guys, forcing the U.S. to make tackle after tackle. Cracks Started to appear on the exterior of this tiring Eagles defense.
The beginning of the second half has been delayed for lengthy treatment to U.S. hooker Joe Taufete’e for a head knock, but the Irish, wearing uncommon blue, were persistent as they exploded the scoreline from 24-14 at halftime with five successive tries.
Joey Carbery made eight goalkicks.
Ireland looked menacing after only 3 minutes, when Conway danced along the U.S. shield on halfway looking for a hole, delivered Rhys Ruddock through one, then remained on the captain’s shoulder for the return pass and opening try.
But the U.S. replied when Taufete’e burst from the short side of a lineout, slipped one guardian and rolled over two more to score.
Conway got his second attempt after a ruck turnover and individual buildup, taking a final pass.
But the Eagles showed grit again to produce a 10-meter rolling maul from a lineout. Irish lock Iain Henderson hauled down it in the line, referee Ben O’Keeffe given a penalty try, and Henderson had been sin-binned.
The U.S. couldn’t even take advantage of the extra guy, though, and when Henderson returned, a Conway burst setup Conan’s attempt.
By halftime, space in the U.S. defense was opening out wide, and also the Irish exploited it on resumption.
Beirne scored his third attempt in his next test.
Turnover ball from a chargedown led to a Ross Byrne crosskick for a try to McCloskey, enjoying his first test in a year.
A surge up the centre led with all the posts to Roux scoring replacement scrumhalf Luke McGrath needed a try scratched because of an earlier pass.
No matter. The surviving rookie from the win over the All Blacks, center Garry Ringrose, launched the movement, also set Conway for his hat trick up.
The result completed also a second November chain sweep: 11 wins out of 12, a Six Nations Grand Slam, series win in Australia, first home win over the All Blacks, and a brilliant year for Ireland.