There are times probably to take risks and times where it’s a great opportunity for Darren Cave.
The back row, like the back three, is an area where Ireland are not stuck for choice though, in the case of the former, the pecking order is well established.
Ireland play Romania in their next Group D game at Wembley on Sunday.
Sexton added both conversions and then took an inside pass from O’Brien to go over in the left corner and make it 22-0.
Here’s where the class of Ireland compared to that of Canada.
The warm-up losses to Wales and England are hopefully a distant memory, and when one looks at all the other main contenders thus far, Ireland’s win against Canada although really too one-sided to be of real value, was still one of the more impressive victories in the opening week of play. Keith Earls, 10. Ian Madigan, 9. “This way we feel that we have taken no risk”.
Ireland responded almost immediately through Rob Kearney and they had another with four minutes to go as Payne rounded off proceedings.
Sexton’s try coupled with his prowess off the tee earned him the man of the match award.
DTH van der Merwe of Victoria, also from JBAA, scored the lone Canadian try on a near field-length interception return of an attempted Irish chip kick. Or maybe you’re more worldly than us and you have seen it already. The winger, who arguably was Canada’s best player on the pitch, ran the ball unopposed for 50 metres for Canada’s only try.
But Ireland was back at it soon after.
In this year’s RBS 6 Nations it was Payne and Henshaw for all five games, as they sought to fill the legendary boots of Gordon D’Arcy and Brian O’Driscoll. But we always intended giving Luke a chance at 12, because he’s played 13 and 11 in the build-up, and we wanted to build our versatility.
Loosehead prop Cian Healy, a replacement against Canada last Saturday, will start a test for the first time since surgery on a prolapsed disc in his neck last May.
“The next game against Romania we will aim to do something that suits (us against) their game”. “They’re not European champions for nothing”.