Kelleher scores four as Ireland beat USA
MATCH REPORT: Hooker Ronan Kelleher scored four tries in Ireland’s 71-10 win over the United States at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.
Leinster’s Kelleher crossed twice either side of the break as the hosts dominated with 10 efforts against the country ranked 16th in the world.
Home 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.
The US’ Gary Gold made three changes from Sunday’s loss to England as hooker Joe Taufete’e, back-row 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 and 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 the US’ Riekert Hattingh was sent off for high tackle on Kelleher, who played amateur rugby for Lansdowne a stone’s throw away from the Aviva Stadium, in midfield before the former Ireland U20s front-row 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 Hamphsire.
Gold’s men, who claimed a late consolation with Michael Baskas’s try, next play in September in a double-header against cross-border rivals Canada in a qualifier for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
Tries: Baloucoune, Kelleher 4, Timoney, McCloskey, Keenan, Coombes, Bealham
Cons: Carbery 5, H Byrne 2, Addison
Ireland: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Robert Baloucoune, 13 James Hume, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 Andrew Conway, 10 Joey Carbery, 9 Craig Casey, 8 Gavin Coombes, 7 Nick Timoney, 6 Caelan Doris, 5 James Ryan (captain), 4 Ryan Baird, 3 Tom O’Toole, 2 Ronan Kelleher, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Dave Heffernan, 17 Ed Byrne, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Fineen Wycherley, 20 Paul Boyle, 21 Caolin Blade, 22 Harry Byrne, 23 Will Addison.
USA: 15 Mike Te’o, 14 Christian Dyer, 13 Calvin Whiting, 12 Bryce Campbell (captain), 11 Mika Kruse, 10 Luke Carty, 9 Ruben de Haas, 8 Cam Dolan, 7 Riekert Hattingh, 6 Hanco Germishuys, 5 Nick Civetta, 4 Gregory Peterson, 3 Paul Mullen, 2 Joe Taufete’e, 1 David Ainu’u
Replacements: 16 Kapeli Pifeleti, 17 Matt Harmon, 18 Dino Waldren, 19 Nate Brakeley, 20 Psalm Wooching, 21 Andrew Guerra, 22 Michael Baska, 23 Will Magie.
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant referees: Adam Jones (Wales), Ben Blain (Scotland)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)