RUGBY: Another pass mark for new-look Ireland side after victory over Japan

Ireland's Jack Conan scores the second of his two tries
Ireland's Jack Conan scores the second of his two tries
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Ireland followed up their 55-19 demolition of the US Eagles in New Jersey last weekend with a seven-try 50-22 trouncing of Japan at Ecopa Stadium on Saturday

Keith Earls, Jack Conan and Dan Leavy all bagged braces, with Garry Ringrose adding a late five-pointer.

Japan's Yusuke Niwai and Dave Kilcoyne of Ireland

Japan's Yusuke Niwai and Dave Kilcoyne of Ireland

Ryuji Noguchi, Kenki Fukuoka and Yutaka Nagore crossed for second-half tries for the home side, but Ireland were always in control.

“The conditions were slightly less hot than we thought they were going to be because we were here yesterday for the captain’s run and it was searingly hot,” said Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt.

“So it made for what I thought was a really good game in good conditions.

“On the back of a strong scrum we managed to control a lot of the first half, but you saw how dangerous the Japanese team are when they get time and space on the ball. They were super in the last quarter of the game.”

Schmidt expects all his players to be available for next Saturday’s rematch in Tokyo, in spite of Simon Zebo, Paddy Jackson, Luke McGrath, Finlay Bealham, Leavy, Rhys Ruddock and Cian Healy all leaving the field with injuries during a fast-paced encounter.

“I don’t think there is anything serious for us.” he added.

“A couple of blood injuries but they seem fine. Luke McGrath got a poke in the eye, he’s fine now, just had blurred vision. We just felt it right to take him out of the contact zone. The rest of them are really bumps and bruises.

“Simon Zebo already had a bump on his knee and as luck would have it he got a knock on exactly the same place on the knee. The others were shoulders and ribs that were sore but nothing serious.”

Meanwhile, Japan head coach Jamie Joseph was left bitterly disappointed with his side’s display.

The Brave Blossoms were overpowered by Ireland’s dominant set-piece and array of strike runners with Earls, Andrew Conway and Leavy making big dents in the home defence all afternoon.

“Shizuoka turned on a real show for us but we let them down,” Joseph said, after his side’s display in front of a crowd of 27,231.