O'Halloran double helps second-string Ireland to comfortable win


Tiernan O'Halloran touched down twice as Ireland's second string followed up their historic victory over New Zealand with an ultimately comfortable 52-21 victory over Canada at the Aviva Stadium.

Ireland defeated the All Blacks, who were on a run of 18 straight Test wins, for the first time in their 111-year history last weekend in Chicago, and they maintained their triumphant form despite fielding an entirely changed XV in Dublin on Saturday.

Joe Schmidt's side, captained by Peter O'Mahony with Rory Best rested, totalled eight tries to the visitors three, with wing O'Halloran's double helping to fend off a valiant showing from Canada.

The visitors drew level after falling 14 points behind in the first half, but the team led by former Ulster coach Mark Anscombe were eventually overpowered. 

Ireland welcomed Keith Earls back from a suspension that ruled him out of the previous match against the All Blacks and he took just six minutes to make his mark, dotting down following some quick thinking at the scrum from Kieran Marmion.

Debutant Garry Ringrose - one of eight Ireland players earning a first cap - thought he had marked the occasion with a try but the referee pulled play back for a penalty following a forward pass from Paddy Jackson.

Fly-half Jackson - who kicked for 12 points - atoned for that error, though, producing a brilliant ball that enabled Luke Marshall to cross in the corner.

Marhsall undid his good work by gifting Canada wing DTH Van der Merwe a try with a sloppy pass in the 24th minute, and Taylor Paris helped level the scores before the half-hour mark via a driving maul from a line-out.

However, O'Halloran ensured Ireland took an advantage into the break when he rushed home from 40 metres following Finlay Bealham's neat offload.

Ireland upped their intensity after the restart and took control, earning a penalty try in the 45th minute as Canada collapsed a scrum while being forced back towards the posts.

Matt Evans pulled one back for the visitors despite the best efforts of O'Halloran to hold him up at the line, but Ireland hit straight back. Earls' pressure forced Van der Merwe into a spill from the restart, Schmidt's men regaining possession and sending Ultan Dillane over.

Marmion again showed awareness at the back of the scrum to get on the scoreboard, before O'Halloran made the most of Canada sitting too narrow to go over in the corner for his second with two minutes remaining.

James Tracy marked his Test debut with the final score of the game beyond the 80th minute, priming Ireland for another meeting with New Zealand in Dublin next weekend.