x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Earls is quick off the mark

Declan Kidney's reign as Ireland coach began in convincing style as Canada were swept aside 55-0 at Thomond Park.

Ireland's Eoin Reddan, right, wins a line out against Canada's Josh Jackson.
Ireland's Eoin Reddan, right, wins a line out against Canada's Josh Jackson.

LIMERICK // Declan Kidney's reign as Ireland coach began in convincing style as Canada were swept aside 55-0 at Thomond Park. Exciting 21-year-old debutant Keith Earls crossed to begin a first-half romp that also produced two tries for Rob Kearney and further scores for Jamie Heaslip and Tommy Bowe. The visitors fared better in the second period, largely due to Ireland's scrappy performance, but substitute s David Wallace and Alan Quinlan, and Bowe again, made sure the half-century in the dying minutes.

Brian O'Driscoll led out his country for the 49th time and formed a new centre partnership with Leinster team-mate Luke Fitzgerald, while Earls took his place at full-back. It took the Irish less than three minutes to score their first try for the new head coach. Ronan O'Gara's high kick was spilt by Justin Mensah-Coker and the ball was spread wide through the hands of O'Driscoll and Fitzgerald to the on-rushing Earls, who crashed over.

But the best try was scored in the 73rd minute as Ireland spread the ball wide to Kearney, who did a one-two with Bowe before putting Quinlan in * PA News.