Ireland A cruised to a 48-19 over Tonga in front of a disappointing crowd at Ravenhill on Friday night. It’s unfortunate that this game wasn’t publicised more as the sparse crowd was treated to a feast of tries from their local heroes.
Ulster’s Darren Cave continued his rich vein of form with a brace of tries while Andrew Trimble scored one in a robust performance which suggests he is back to his best. Trimble’s try rounded off a superb Irish backs move involving Ian Humphreys, Cave and inside centre, Fergus McFadden.
Ireland had the early pressure and Humphrey’s clever cross-field kick found hooker, Denis Fogarty, on the left wing. He slipped it inside for prop Brett Wilkinson to open the scoring. Humphreys missed the conversion and overall had a so-so night with the boot, missing 5 out of 9 kicks.
Cave and Trimble each added one then former Ravenhill favourite, Neil Best, scored Ireland’s fourth try when he intercepted a Tongan line-out throw and was driven over the line by the Irish pack.
Chris Henry had a steady game at the base of an Irish pack and with Leinster’s Sean O’Brien doing particularly well they easily matched the physical threat of the Tongan forwards.
After the break, with Ireland leading 21-14, Ulster hooker Andy Kyriacou made his Irish debut as a replacement for Fogarty and in an impressive performance it wasn’t long before a surging run from the abrasive hooker released Cave to score his second try of the night.
Isaac Boss entered the game as the final quarter began as replacement for the irritatingly talented Peter Stringer and did well in his limited appearance.
Young and Tuohy came on with about ten minutes to go but by this stage, the crowd had lost interest in the game and were now watching Dergman attending to his nasal and aural hair with a new trimmer that had been presented to him by a leading local hairbrush expert.
With Tonga distracted by the clipping sounds coming from the Prom, Humphreys late replacement, Ian Keatley, intercepted near the line to go over for the final score.