Keith Earls Shines as Ireland Steamroll USA in 55-19 Summer Internationals Win

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJune 10, 2017

Ireland's Keith Earls scores a try during a Six Nations rugby union international match between Italy and Ireland at the Rome Olympic stadium, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Alessandra Tarantino/Associated Press

Ireland cruised to a 55-19 win over the USA Eagles during Saturday's summer international, powered by a great performance from Keith Earls.

The European giants were expected to beat the Stars and Stripes and lived up to the expectations, although the hosts also impressed in a high-scoring match.

The visitors scored no less than nine tries, with Earls (2)Jacob Stockdale, Kieran Marmion, Niall Scannell, Jack Conan, James Ryan, Luke McGrath and Simon Zebo all touching down. Joe Carberry and Rory Scannell each added two conversions.

For the Stars and Stripes, Ryan Matyas, Nick Civetta and John Quill scored tries, and Alan MacGinty had two conversions.

The USA started the match with plenty of attacking intentions but quickly ran into a first setback, as Earls cleverly slid over after a brilliant attack. Carbery missed the conversion, but the visitors still had the early lead. were impressed with Earls' recent form―and he was only just getting started:

While the Stars and Stripes impressed with plenty of offloads and exotic attacking moves, the more experienced Irish team was ruthlessly efficient early, and Stockdale scored a try on his debut from a great set-piece. Carbery was on point this time around, making the score 12-0.

Earles continued his monstrous showing by going close to scoring a second try before playing a clever one-two with Kieran Marmion that resulted in another score.

But just as the USA's efforts seemed hopeless, Carbery made a silly mistake that gave the Eagles some space, and they duly capitalised via Civetta. USA Rugby were ecstatic:

Ireland took control of the ball after the mistake and eventually restored the big advantage through an excellent maul, with Scannell going over. Marmion put the half-time score on the board after yet another good effort from Earls, who easily stole the headlines in that half.

Three Red Kings thought the Stars and Stripes' limitations showed:

The high scoring volume didn't stop after the break, with Conan pushing on for Ireland's sixth before another poor kick from Carbery gave the hosts their second score, this time via Quill.

Irish Times Sport were not impressed:

Numerous substitutions pulled the momentum from the match, although the USA didn't seem to mind, and Ireland were happy to give some of their fringe players a run out. The hosts dealt with the changes best, and Matyas deservedly added to their tally.

Ryan got in on the scoring fun, with Earls once again playing a big role in the buildup. Not to be outdone, McGrath also showed his strength on his way to another score.

And the visitors weren't done yet, as Zebo scored their ninth try to complete the one-sided affair.