Declan Kidney pronounced himself satisfied with some of Ireland's play during their 25-6 victory over Canada in Vancouver on Saturday.

Tries from debutant Ian Whitten and one apiece from the Munster pairing of Barry Murphy and Tony Buckley ensured a hard-fought win for the Grand Slam champions, though there were few of the regular faces on display.

Peter Stringer, Rory Best, Mick O'Driscoll and Denis Leamy all started the game, with Bob Casey earning his first cap since 2000 in the second row.

The visitors, however, found it difficult to establish themselves early on against a side equally as new to each other as the Irish combinations.

Fly-half Ian Keatley sent his first kick at goals wide of the posts on eight minutes, before Murphy's try ten minutes later allowed him to atone for the miss by clinching a conversion.

It was also Murphy's first try in a green shirt, the back finishing with aplomb following a clever kick forward from Darren Cave, usually to be found in Ulster colours.

Canada pulled three points back with a penalty kick from James Pritchard just before the break and the full-back added a second three minutes into the second half, only for Keatley to reply with a penalty kick of his own with the hour mark approaching.

The Connacht man added another penalty four minutes later, before Whitten's try (63') settled the contest. Again, Cave was involved - the centre offloading to his Ulster team-mate, who was left to dive over in the corner.

Keatley added the extras, moving Ireland on to 6-20, while Buckley increased his side's tally courtesy of his five-point score with time running out to put a more convincing look on the scoreboard.

"There were aspects in our performance we know we'd like to get better," Kidney said afterwards. "We were trying things - that's what pleased me. As long as we keep trying things, we will try and work the positive out of that."

Tour captain Rory Best added: "We knew it was going to be a tough game and that we would have to take every chance. It was very abrasive rugby, you certainly know that when you get their defensive line coming at you."

Canada: James Pritchard; Dean van Camp, Ciaran Hearn, Ryan Smith, DTH Van der Merwe; David Spicer, Ed Fairhurst; Kevin Tkachuk, Pat Riordan, Scott Franklin; Tyler Hotson, Mike Burak; Chauncey O'Toole, Adam Kleeberger, Aaron Carpenter.

Ireland: Gavin Duffy; Barry Murphy, Darren Cave, Ian Whitten, Ian Dowling; Ian Keatley, Peter Stringer; Tom Court, Rory Best, Tony Buckley; Bob Casey, Mick O'Driscoll; John Muldoon, Niall Ronan, Denis Leamy.

Guinness-march2019