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‘A’ Side Get Off To Winning Start

‘A’ Side Get Off To Winning Start

Michael Bradley’s Ireland ‘A’ side ran in four tries for a 28-13 win over the USA to get their Barclays Churchill Cup campaign off to a solid start.

Michael Bradley’s Ireland ‘A’ side ran in four tries for a 28-13 win over the USA to get their Barclays Churchill Cup campaign off to a solid start.


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USA 13 IRELAND ‘A’ 28, Buck Shaw Stadium, Santa Clara (Att: 3,700)

Scorers: USA: Try: Salesi Sika; Con: Francois Viljoen; Pens: Viljoen 2

Ireland ‘A’: Tries: Shane Jennings, John Fogarty, Neil McMillan, Andrew Maxwell; Con: Paddy Wallace; Pens: Wallace 2

Full-time – USA 13 Ireland ‘A’ 28. A solid performance from the Irish. The tries did not come in the second half as they were expected to. However there’s plenty to build on for next Saturday’s game against the New Zealand Maori.

80+11 mins – A ridiculous amount of injury time is being added by the referee, but the Americans deservedly get in for a consolation try – centre Salesi Sika goes over to the left of the posts for Viljoen to convert and end the game. USA 13 Ireland ‘A’ 28.

80+8 mins – As both benches are emptied, Andrew Maxwell notches Ireland’s fourth try – which earns them what could prove to be a valuable bonus point. The Ulster winger chipped over the top, chased his kick, put Palefau under the necessary pressure and managed to dot down the loose ball. Paddy Wallace misses out on adding the extras. USA 6 Ireland ‘A’ 28.

77 mins – Jamie Heaslip is the Barclays Churchill Cup man of the match.

76 mins – Substitute Neil McMillan gets over for Ireland’s third try off another lineout maul – McCullough with the take and Damien Browne, another sub, helped shunt the men in green forward with his 20-stone frame. Paddy Wallace adds the conversion. USA 6 Ireland ‘A’ 23.

72 mins – With time running out, the US try to put themselves within a converted score but Francois Viljoen’s lengthy penalty attempt fades away to the left.

68 mins – John Fogarty’s use of the boot on Tyson Meek at a ruck sees him get a stern talking to from referee Smith.

63 mins – A last ditch tackle from Mike Palefau on Andrew Maxwell sees the Irish denied a try in the left corner. A great break from substitute Kieran Lewis in midfield laid the platform for the move.

50 mins – Trevor Hogan is forced to pull a US lineout maul down as the home side have a spell of pressure in the Irish 22. A try for US captain Kort Schubert in the right corner is ruled out for a forward pass from Tuilevuka.

44 mins – Paddy Wallace side steps through the American cover to set up his new provincial colleague Tom Court for a cut at the try line but he is hauled down five metres out and the move peters out.

Second Half – Kick-Off: It’s 14-man Ireland ‘A’ against the 13 men of the USA. Paddy Wallace sets the second half in motion with a high, hanging restart.

Half-time – Ireland ‘A’ will take a 10-point lead into the second half. The opening period saw Jamie Heaslip, Matt McCullough and Simon Keogh catch the eye. It’s been a workman-like performance so far from Bradley’s side.

40+7 mins – The US lose a second player to the sin bin. Referee Smith loses his patience with the home side’s persistent ruck infringing and yellow cards flanker Todd Clever who was pinged for going off his feet.

40+6 mins – Paddy Wallace regains his kicking poise, landing a penalty from just over 30 metres to bolster the Irish lead. USA 6 Ireland ‘A’ 16.

40+3 mins – Paddy Wallace misses a straight-on penalty kick to the left of the uprights.

40 mins – The resultant penalty, awarded to the hosts, sees Francois Viljoen land his second kick – this time from the 10-metre line. USA 6 Ireland ‘A’ 13.

38 mins – Canadian referee Phil Smith goes back to where the fight broke out. After a midfield scrum, John Fogarty and Owen Lentz were seen to trade punches and both are sent to the sin bin.

37 mins – As a fight breaks out in midfield between the two hookers, Todd Clever makes a brilliant line break, he finds winger Jeff Hullinger but the Irish regroup well with a combination of Robert Kearney and John Hearty forcing centre Salesi Sika into touch at the left corner.

30 mins – The US win a penalty and bring play into the Irish 22. Owen Lentz’s lineout throw is a poor one, but New Zealand-based flanker Todd Clever manages to get it back on their side and a good run by the powerful Alipate Tuilevuka sees the US just 10 metres from the Irish line, but the ball is turned over.

20 mins – The Eagles are penalised again for a ruck infringement in their own 22. Paddy Wallace kicks it to touch and in a carbon copy of the first try, McCullough takes a lineout and the pack’s rumble forward sees hooker John Fogarty get over for a deserved try. Paddy Wallace misses the conversion. USA 3 Ireland ‘A’ 13.

13 mins – After an encouraging start from the Americans, Ireland get in for the first try. John Fogarty finds Matt McCullough at a lineout just inside the home 22. A rolling maul is set in motion and Shane Jennings gets over for the score to crown his captaincy. Paddy Wallace fails with the difficult conversion from the left. USA 3 Ireland ‘A’ 8.

9 mins – Paddy Wallace replies for Ireland with a penalty from 15 metres out after an American ruck infringement. Good breaks from Simon Keogh and Jamie Heaslip helped to take play up into the hosts’ 22 before the penalty was awarded. USA 3 Ireland ‘A’ 3.

2 minutes – Irish skipper Shane Jennings comes in at the side of a ruck. Francois Viljoen has a shot at the posts from just outside the 22-metre line – it’s successful. USA 3 Ireland ‘A’ 0.

Kick-Off: Wind assisted, USA full-back Francois Viljoen gets proceedings up and running.

Pre-Match: It is a bright sunny day in San Francisco for the Ireland ‘A’ team’s first ever Churchill Cup game. Scotland ‘A’ dug deep to beat the England Saxons 13-7 in the Pool A opener in Toronto – can Michael Bradley’s men follow suit with victory over the Eagles?

The Irish team shows eight changes to the starting XV that beat England ‘A’ 33-18 at Kingsholm in March – only Robert Kearney, Tomas O’Leary, Ray Hogan, John Fogarty, Matt McCullough, captain Shane Jennings and Jamie Heaslip survive from that clash.

An interesting inclusion is tighthead prop Tom Court, who has yet to play for his new province and club – Ulster and Ballymena. Court, a former Queenslands Reds Academy player, has only been playing rugby for three years after a successful career as a top class shot putter.

Simon Keogh, Andrew Maxwell, Court and John Muldoon will be making their debuts at ‘A’ level. Replacements Declan Fitzpatrick, Damien Browne, Neil McMillan and Eoghan Hickey are also yet to be capped by Ireland ‘A’.

It is the Americans’ first outing in close to a year and they include five debutants from the start. Their interim coach is New Zealander Peter Thorburn.

15. Francois Viljoen (vice-capt.) (Mike French @54); 14. Mike Palefau; 13. Salesi Sika (Chris Osentowski @55); 12. Vahafalau Esikia; 11. Jeff Hullinger (Brian Barnard @71); 10. Alipate Tuilevuka; 9. Tyson Meek (Mose Timoteo @74); 1. Mike MacDonald; 2. Owen Lentz (Patrick Bell @41); 3. John Tarpoff; 4. Carl Hansen (Brian Schoener @71); 5. Mike Mangan; 6. Todd Clever; 7. Tony Petruzzella (Mark Aylor @67); 8. Kort Shubert (capt.)

USA: Francois Viljoen; Mike Palefau, Salesi Sika, Vahafalau Esikia, Jeff Hullinger; Alipate Tuilevuka, Tyson Meek; Mike MacDonald, Owen Lentz, John Tarpoff, Carl Hansen, Mike Manga, Todd Clever, Tony Petruzzella, Kort Schubert (capt).

Replacements used: Mike French for MacDonald (20-23 mins, 26-29, 43-50, blood sub), Patrick Bell for Petruzzella (38-43), Patrick Bell for Lentz (43), Mike French for MacDonald (64), Chris Osentowski for Tarpoff, Mark Aylor for Tony Petruzzella (both 77), Brian Barnard for Hullinger, Brian Schoener for Hansen (both 78), Mose Timoteo for Meek (79).

IRELAND ‘A’: Robert Kearney; Simon Keogh, John Hearty, David Quinlan, Andrew Maxwell; Paddy Wallace, Tomas O’Leary; Ray Hogan, John Fogarty, Tom Court, Trevor Hogan, Matt McCullough, John Muldoon, Shane Jennings (capt), Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements used: Brian Blaney for Muldoon (38-43), Kieran Lewis for Hearty (51), Neil McMillan for Muldoon (56), Ronan McCormack for R Hogan (57), Damien Browne for T Hogan (68), Brian Blaney for Fogarty (69), Declan Fitzpatrick for Court (77), Eoghan Hickey for Wallace (80+8).

Referee: Phil Smith (Canada); Touch Judges: Andrew Small (England), Peter Allen (Scotland)

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