Click here for photos of the Ireland ‘A’ team’s Churchill Cup Pool B victory over the USA in Santa Clara.
Pictured above: Ireland ‘A’ flanker and captain Shane Jennings hold onto possession under pressure from USA centre Salesi Sika at the Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara. The Irish ran in four tries through Jennings, hooker John Fogarty, replacement flanker Neil McMillan and winger Andrew Maxwell. The bonus point win took Michael Bradley’s men to the top of the Pool B table but the New Zealand Maori overtook them on Wednesday courtesy of their 74-6 thumping of the Eagles.
Jennings, whose side meet the Maori in Santa Clara on Saturday (kick-off 10.00pm Irish time), said: “We were happy with the win against the US, but the heat made it pretty tough going. We weren’t that happy with the way we played though, and we know we have a lot to work on before the Maori game.”
Munster scrum half Tomas O’Leary tries to spread the play. The 22-year-old was earning his third cap of the season for the ‘A’ team. He partnered Jeremy Staunton at half back for the spring internationals against France ‘A’ and England ‘A’ – Paddy Wallace was outside him at number 10 last Saturday.
Ulster out-half Paddy Wallace side-steps his way past the tackle of USA scrum half Tyson Meek. Wallace, who turns 27 in August, took his tally of ‘A’ caps to nine last Saturday.
Bradley’s squad are based in San Jose for the first two games of the Churchill Cup. In soaring temperatures, some of the players took time out early this week to visit San Francisco and the famous Alcatraz prison.
The Australian-born prop Tom Court, who made his Ireland ‘A’ debut last weekend, almost crowned it with a second half try but he was hauled down just short of the line.
Chris Keane, Bryn Cunningham, Roger Wilson, Conor McPhillips and Mossie Lawlor were all in action at a youth camp in the lead-up to the clash with the US Eagles.
Players from the Ireland ‘A’ and USA sides pose with children and parents following the youth camp in Santa Clara.
Shannon and Munster full-back/winger Mossie Lawlor said of the afternoon: “It was very enjoyable – there are a few kids here with a lot of potential talent. It’s great to come here and see young Americans playing a sport which we know isn’t that popular yet in the States.
“This camp, and the Churchill Cup tournament, aims to develop rugby across America and Canada and it’s really good to see these kids come down today and be so keen to learn rugby. I really hope that as they grow older they stick with rugby and you never know, we may be seeing some potential US Eagles here today!”
All photos by David Stephenson of www.numinaphoto.com