22nd March 2011
Full Match Report
ST PATRICK'S DAY INTERNATIONAL
On a sunny day in Philadelphia Ireland ended their run of defeats against the USA Tomahawks.
The game got off to a tense start as both sides tried to feel their way into the highly billed clash. Neither team looked like scoring and a high error count was recorded in the opening quarter.
However, it was Ireland who settled first with young standoff, Sean Carmody, pulling the strings behind an increasingly dominate forward pack.
Despite the Tomahawks having a clear size advantage the Irish forwards fronted up and put in a number of big tackles and ball carries.
It was the visitors who opened the scoring when Simon Deevy crashed over the try line from close range to bag his first try at this level in only his second game.
As Carmody failed to add the conversion Ireland now led 4-0 with 25 minutes of play gone.
Ireland then added their second as Dublin City Exile Adam Hughes pounced on a Tomahawks error to touch down for his first of the day. Carmody didn’t fail with the conversion as his side opened up a ten point lead as the half closed to an end.
To their credit the Tomahawks kept pushing for their first try and were held up over the line on three occasions in the first half.
They were awarded a penalty just five yards from Ireland’s try line, however, captain Apple Pope hand his opposition a moral boost as he opted to take two points.
While Nate Smith added the penalty it still left the USA eight points behind when the referee blew his whistle for half time. The score stood at 10-2 to Ireland.
The Tomahawks came out all guns blazing at the start of the second half but once more a strong Irish defence, which included big tackles from John Bagnall, Mark O’Neill and Alan Trenier, kept David Niu’s team at bay.
Substitute Brian Flanagan added Ireland’s third try of the game after Paddy Barcoe put Ross Bergin through a gaping hole in the USA defence. Bergin then fed Flanagan who had the relatively easy job of touching down for the score.
This was ultimately the nail in the Tomahawks coffin as with Carmody’s conversion the score was brought to 16-2 with twenty five minutes left on the clock.
Full back Louis Tulio pulled the USA back into the game when he went over from close range which, along with Smiths successful conversion, made the score 16-8 to Ireland.
However, Alan Robinson’s men were not finished their scoring as Loose Forward, Ben Moriarty, cruised through a gap in the defence and ran fifty yards to score Ireland’s fourth of the day.
The Wolfhounds then looked to be giving the Tomahawks a free ride towards the try line as they gave away two penalties in quick succession.
However, Hughes came up with a game winning play when he showed his speed passing three American defenders down the wing to bag his second of the game with just seconds left on the clock.
Carmody did his final act of the game by adding his third conversion of the day to make the final score USA Tomahawks 8-26 Ireland Wolfhounds.
Speaking after the game Ireland Head Coach Alan Robinson said “This is the proudest moment of my coaching career so far. I have played in this fixture five times and only won once so to win as a coach means everything to me.”
Louis Tulio, Nate Smith, Andrew Malafu, Curtis Cunz, Mike Brazil, Gareth Baxendale, Charles Cortolano, Mike Cartwright, Apple Pope, Andrew Kniesly, Salesi Tongamoa, Conway Maraki, Sean Taylor, John Convery, Xavier Lozinguez, Kelly McGill, Mike Talua
Ashley Huck, Adam Hughes, Ross Bergin, Paddy Barcoe, Mark Tuohy, Sean Carmody, Joe Smith, Brendan Guilfoyle, Jimmy Giblin, Mark O’Neill, Peter Howard, Simon Deevy, Ben Moriarty, Alan McNamara, Alan Trenier, Brian Flanagan, John Bagnall