RUGBY: Joe Schmidt content with easy Ireland win over USA

Ireland's Jacob Stockdale scores the second try of the game
Ireland's Jacob Stockdale scores the second try of the game

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt gave his side a 'pass mark' following their nine-try victory over the US Eagles at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey.

The visitors surged into a 29-7 half-time lead thanks to a brace of tries from Keith Earls and further scores from debutant Jacob Stockdale, hooker Niall Scannell and scrum-half Kieran Marmion.

Ireland's Jack Conan scores a try at the back of a maul

Ireland's Jack Conan scores a try at the back of a maul

Schmidt's men crossed another four times after the break but conceded three sloppy tries at the hands of Nick Civetta, John Quill and Ryan Matyas.

"It's a pass mark, first up," said Schmidt after his side's 55-19 win. "This group has worked hard but it's always difficult to put it together.

"The US got into our space really well and made us work hard. I thought we also got to the space quite a few times. Particularly Joey (Carbery), he got to the space with his cross-kicks because they were up and in at us.

"Keith Earls usually wants to get the ball all the time. I think after the first 20 minutes he didn't want it any more. He'd already run far enough."

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt

Leinster starlet Joey Carbery had a mixed evening at fly-half. The New Zealand-born No 10 showed some great attacking touches with ball in hand but twice had clearance kicks charged down leading to tries for Eagles forwards Civetta and Quill.

The 21-year-old, who starred for Leinster at full-back in recent months, left the action in the 51st minute with an ankle injury, but Schmidt backed the talented young playmaker to learn from the experience.

"I think Joey will keep learning from that," he added.

"For a guy that has played very little at 10 all season it's very hard to put yourself into what is probably the pressure position and make all the right decision. I thought he made some really good ones and created a fair bit of play for us.

"He's learning from the things that didn't got so well."

Schmidt delivered an injury update on Carbery and full-back Tiernan O'Halloran, who was forced off with an injury late in the contest, as the squad prepare to leave for Tokyo on Sunday ahead of their two-Test series with Japan.

"Tiernan's fine, he just had cramp," explained Schmidt. "Joey just sprained his ankle a bit chasing across the pitch. He just went to turn back.

"We thought it pertinent to get him off. We don't know what the story is yet. It hasn't really swelled too much but it was a bit tender so we'll see how it settles and maybe get a scan, either here or once we've arrive in Tokyo."

US Eagles head coach John Mitchell conceded his side were outclassed by the visitors in New Jersey.

Former All Blacks coach Mitchell, who is leaving his role with the Eagles to take over at the Bulls in Super Rugby next season, must now get his side ready for a friendly clash with Georgia in Atlanta before their 2019 World Cup qualifier play-off against Canada later this month.

"We were outclassed today," said Mitchell.

"We're disappointed with the performance, we had some defensive issues. The pace of the game exposed a couple of guys in our system.

"I didn't expect our scrum to lose the inches. Ireland's 'caterpillar walk' in the scrum paid dividends.”