Joe Schmidt content with Ireland win over USA in New Jersey
Last Updated: 11/06/17 5:52pm
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt gave his side a "pass mark" following their 55-19 win over the US Eagles at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey on Saturday.
The visitors surged into a 29-7 half-time lead thanks to two tries from Keith Earls and further scores from debutant Jacob Stockdale, hooker Niall Scannell and scrum-half Kieran Marmion.
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. "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 anymore. He'd already run far enough."
Leinster star 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 has shone 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 go so well.
"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 arrived in Tokyo."
Schmidt also delivered an injury update on full-back Tiernan O'Halloran, who was forced off with an injury late in the contest, saying "he just had cramp", as the squad prepare to leave for Tokyo on Sunday ahead of their two-Test series with Japan.