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Samu Manoa Huge Hit on Billy Twelvetrees

Monday, June 10, 2013

Ireland take narrow win over USA in front of record crowd in Houston

Ireland scraped home against the USA in Texas at the weekend, coming away with a narrow 15-12 victory in a hard-fought game watched by a record 20 181 rugby fans. Ian Madigan kicked all the points for an Irish side without those touring with the Lions.

For the USA Saracens back Chris Wyles kicked four penalties, but it was their second loss in succession, following on from the opening Pacific Nations Cup defeat to Canada a week prior.

"We're trying to score tries," said Eagles skipper Todd Clever. "That's the only way we can make this game exciting and give the fans what they want and the players what they deserve.

"It was really hard to read that ref, and it was really hard to know what was going on, on the breakdown because I thought the boys were dominant at the breakdown," he added.

Ireland captain Peter O'Mahony was ultimately pleased with the win, despite it being tough going.

"It is an away from home Test win and I am thrilled to bits for the boys who won their first caps that the rest of the boys got the win on such a special day," he said.

"The overall thing is we got a win away from home, it was a tough game and we expected nothing less. The USA have really improved over the last 12 to 18 months, they have been really pushing on. It was tough out there, the conditions were tough and the ball was really slippy." 

Posted at 1:37 pm | 17 comments

Posted in Midyear Tours

Viewing 17 comments

Scott June 10, 2013 5:04 pm

Give the USA another 2-3 years and we'll start knocking off some of the bigger sides. We're certainly starting to close the gap. We're not destined to be a minnow much longer, and I think that will not only catapult the game in the States but help it around the world. Canada is starting to come on as well. I think entering the PNC will greatly improve both sides.

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UpTheLowEnd June 10, 2013 6:04 pm

Cannot express (and im all for the US playing and everything) I could not stand listening to those American commentators talking about 'open field tackles' and how Ireland were 'playing defence'.

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UpTheLowEnd June 10, 2013 6:09 pm

Can I also add how disrespectfully the US captain was talking to the ref!

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Hackney Griffin June 11, 2013 9:39 pm

It's brilliant to see another country and culture showing such passion for the game. And I don't agree with the moaning about the language either... it comes across a little bigoted. Thought the commentators were impressively knowledgable, especially given it's not something they're going to do very often. And "a whistler' is a great phrase.

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mskomu June 10, 2013 6:14 pm

I believe it was 2nd-tier team from Ireland, but nevertheless huge improvement from team USA.

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AJCR June 10, 2013 7:08 pm

Hate is an understatement of my feelings on the commentary

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guest June 10, 2013 7:15 pm

I thought the crowd was disrespectful as well, there was some booing at various points that I didn't think was necessary. (I couldn't really watch the game live, I watched the live commentary on the ireland rugby website, but they mentioned some booing in the second half when penalties were awarded). I didn't agree with all the calls made but the ref's decision should be final!

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TMC June 10, 2013 8:35 pm

Didn't like how Todd Clever and the US players were running up to the Ref over decisions he had made. Nigel Owens won't stand for that nonsense!!

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Joe Sweeney June 11, 2013 4:15 pm

Let's be sure to call out both sides for challenging the ref. The video shows the Irish captain arguing the penalty called near their goalline.

The video doesn't include some of the things that created the American players' frustration, such as a player tackled in the air on a trestart with no penalty awarded (clearly a yellow-card offense) and Ireland twice kicking away the ball when penalties were awrded to USA to avoid the quick tap. That's why Clever suggested to the ref that the second time Ireland kicked the ball away it "deserves a warning." Pretty mild suggestion for something that should warrant a yellow card, especially when done repeatedly.

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Aconsya June 11, 2013 11:13 am

Looking at this makes me feel ashamed off rugby. Both Ireland but defently the US can look themself in the mirror and ask themself if they not rather want to play a nice soccer game here and there. Got really annoyed by all the talking to the ref.... And surely the ref wasn't the greatest ref ever seen but still, it's rugby.

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The big kangaroo June 11, 2013 3:36 pm

I liked the commentary it was funny to see rugby through another culture.

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Joe Sweeney June 11, 2013 4:05 pm

Glad you can appreciate that the commentators were Americans broadcasting to an American audience (many of whom have not played or seen much rugby) and occasionally used American football idioms to translate rugby play to an American audience.

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necar27 June 11, 2013 5:38 pm

a mixture of the the Ireland B/C team dishing out defeat to the US A team . The margin of victory was about right and even though the US came close, the gap would be massive if it was A team vs A team. Well played US but you lack a lot of cutting edge out wide and if you look at the moronic fans in the crowd who are no different to US football fans, all they care about is a big hit which is a necessary part of the game but overall the goal is to win. US rugby get rid of those drooling idiots from your stadia and replace them with real rugby fans, i know they exist over there, i have met plenty of them .

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Kevin June 13, 2013 2:19 am

B/C team or not, don't forget that is still a team made up of mostly (if not all? Not exactly sure) professional players for Ireland who play in high level matches all year playing against a USA team with mostly amateur players (probably 5-7 playing in meaningful, high level matches all year with a few others playing in lower divisions in Europe and the southern hemisphere). So, when you consider the advantage Ireland has in terms of overall experience in high level matches, the result is still encouraging for the Americans. A few years ago, a match against in Irish B/C team would have produced a very lopsided result. The growth from the USA team since the world cup is very encouraging.

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James June 11, 2013 7:25 pm

I wasn't offended like it seems a lot of people were by the commentary. Yes one of the chaps seemed a bit naive. But the other guy was very tactful in correctly stating the facts. I also think America played very well. They are showing a lot of promise. I think they have all the bits and pieces of a top rugby team but still lack the confidence or something to put them all together. It seemed to me to be a great atmosphere in the crowd too. I loved the way they were all cheering USA, USA as they got close to the line. Games this close can always go either way. So USA while they'd be gutted they missed a chance should be proud of the challenge they lay down. I also read a couple of comments about second string teams. It's always a risk to try new players. But every team does it. Otherwise you would have no new players. I don't think I'd see Ireland complain if they only beat a second string All Black team. For me there is no second string All Black team. If they are good enough to be selected to represent in the black shirt, then they are an All Black and that's all that matters.

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scrummy87 June 11, 2013 9:06 pm

Reff clearly not up to the level necessary to reff an international game as evidenced by the Yellow Card given to Todd Clever and the failure to even penalize Ireland for tackling a man while in the air, as well as the general inconsistency of his decisions around the breakdown.

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TxRugger June 13, 2013 1:14 am

Realize that the crowd in Houston was 99% rugby players or fans and their mates.
Texas has a huge rugby community. And at least 98% of them were drunk.
I was there and saw it.
It is not often the US gets a huge venue for rugby as this and we all enjoyed it.
It is not the typical crowd of other rugby playing nations, but when you love the game so much as a rugger, and the US is finally putting together a good venue and test match, you make the most of it.
Remember, we only get one really big test match in Texas a year. I am sure next year we will be bigger and louder. For us, it is a party atmosphere. It is like seeing your first breast.

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