USA National Rugby Team


Mullins' Hat Trick Leads Ireland to Big Win over USA

(Manchester, New Hampshire) 10 July -- Center Mike Mullins scored a hat trick of tries as Ireland swamped the United States 83-3 in an international friendly match before a ground record 5,200 at Manchester's Singer Park.

Halfback Guy Easterby added two tries in his first international for the Irish, a European power currently touring the Americas. Brother Simon Easterby and Geordan Murphy also scored twice as Ireland tallied a national record 13 times.

Consistently splitting the US defense, hard-running Mullins crossed the American line once in the first half and twice in the second stanza. The Young Munster center was named man of the match for his efforts.

"It was good to get a big win after last week's disappointment against Argentina," Mullins said afterward. "The forwards played very well today."

"I told the team Ireland payed us a compliment by continuing to play rugby [after building a big lead]," US coach Duncan Hall said. "We'll have to get some rest and then pull back together quickly before we go down to play the Island teams."

Ireland rolled to a 31-3 halftime lead, scoring five tries to Grant Wells' lone penalty goal for the USA. Simon Easterby scored just minutes into the game for Ireland, but Wells countered with a three-pointer before fullback Geordan Murphy and Mullins opened the floodgates with converted tries at 17 and 19 minutes, making the count 19-3.

Again scoring in rapid succession, Guy Easterby and Malcolm O'Kelly scored at 28 and 31 minutes, respectively, as the backpedaling American defense was consistently outnumbered. In a typical sequence, the US looked to have stopped Ireland several times on Easterby's score, only for supporting Irish players to continue the downfield run.

Unlike last week's 34-25 comeback win over Canada, when the US tallied 27 points in the second half, this week's contest grew more one-sided over the second 40 minutes. Mullins sandwiched tries at 42 and 48 minutes around a Paul Wallace score, all three converted by Ronan O'Gara to make the count 52-3. Ireland's goalkicker finished with 12 points on six of 11 goalkicking, while replacement David Humphreys converted one of two attempts.

Ireland scored five more tries down the stretch, while the US twice failed to convert strong scoring opportunities into points.

Ireland meet Canada next week in Toronto, while the US is idle until a July 1 Pacific Rim match against Fiji. The Eagles lead the conference with a 2-0 record.

United States: Penalty goals: Grant Wells

Ireland: Tries: Simon Easterby (2), Geordan Murphy (2), Mike Mullins (3), Guy Easterby (2), Malcolm O'Kelly, Paul Wallace, James Topping, David Humphreys, Geordan Murphy
      Conversions: Ronan O'Gara (6), David Humphreys

United States: Kurt Shuman; Andre Blom, Juan Grobler (Link Wilfley) Philip Eloff, Malakai Delai; Grant Wells, Kevin Dalzell; John McBride, Robbie Flynn (Kirk Khasigian), Ray Lehner (JoeClayton), Philippe Farner, Matt Kane (Tom Kelleher), Kort Schubert, Don Younger (John Burke), Dave Hodges (captain),

Referee: Clayton Thomas (Wales).

© USA National Rugby Team
Scott Compton, Media Relations
Hudson Rugby Fieldhouse
Berkeley, California 94720 4426
phone 510.643.1971 / fax 510.643.2192