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Munster's Denis Hurley and Toulouse's Yannick Jauzion Photo by: EMPICS Sport

Ireland A 30 Canada 19

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Munster's Denis Hurley and Toulouse's Yannick Jauzion Photo by: EMPICS Sport

Ireland A beat Canada 30-19 at Infinity Park in Glendale in the early hours of Thursday morning, in their opening Churchill Cup Pool A match.

The Irish had to weather some tempestuous conditions with thunder, lightning and torrential rain all threatening to turn the match into a farce.

However, debutant Devin Toner proved the inspiration with an excellent performance in the mud.

It wasn't all plain sailing for Declan Kidney's men, with Canada taking a 16-13 half-time lead through the boot of Ander Monro - who kicked two penalties and a drop goal - and an excellent try by Phil Mack.

Niall O'Connor brought the Irish back level, only to see Monro kick the Canadian ahead once more, before the visitors romped away with victory. The Irish tries came from Denis Hurley, who grabbed two, Fergus McFadden, a penalty try and a last gasp effort by Denis Fogarty which was converted by Jonathan Sexton.

"It was my first cap for Ireland A so I'm pretty happy," said Toner. "We have been together a week now and that showed at the end when things came off.

"Canada were very much up for it but we had a point to prove as it was our first game together as an A team. We gave away a lot of penalties and their kicker (Monro) was on form but we improved and are happy overall, especially given the conditions."

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