Joey Carbery an injury concern for Ireland
Outhalf rolled his ankle during win over the US Eagles in New Jersey on Saturday
Joey Carbery goes off with an ankle injury. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Joey Carbery remains an injury concern as Ireland leave New Jersey for Tokyo and the two-test series against Japan.
The 21-year-old required ankle surgery last December, after damaging his syndesmosis playing for Leinster against Northampton. The incident in Saturday’s 55-19 victory over the USA happened 10 minutes into the second half as Carbery, who had had a nightmare game with the boot, tracked across field to tackle winger Mike Te’o.
“Joey just sprained his ankle a bit chasing across the pitch,” said Ireland coach Joe Schmidt. “He just went to turn back. We thought it pertinent to get him off. We don’t know what the story is yet. It hasn’t really swelled too much but it was a bit tender so we’ll see how it settles and maybe get a scan, either here or once we’ve arrived in Tokyo.
“I don’t think it’s the syndesmosis,” Schmidt added when asked if it was the same injury. “Again, we’ll have a look. If it’s much better tomorrow morning, we’ll just treat it like a sprained ankle. He just rolled his ankle really. If it’s blown up and it’s very tender, we’ll get it scanned.”
Tiernan O’Halloran (cramp) was forced off on 73 minutes which meant Ireland finished with nine forwards and six backs, not that it mattered as they coasted to victory.
“It’s a pass mark, first up,” said Schmidt of the nine try performance against a largely amateur American squad. “This group has worked hard but it’s always difficult to put it together. The US got into our space really well and made us work hard. I thought they got into our space quite a few times.
“Particularly Joey, they got into the space with his cross kicks because they were up and in at us.
“It was oppressively hot out there and heavy for the players. The other thing at half-time that the lads were saying was the ball was incredibly slippery. There was a lot of perspiration on the ball which made it incredibly hard to get long transfers. Shorter transfers were OK but as soon as you wanted to try to get enough bit on the ball to get it wide it was a little bit difficult.”
Still, Keith Earls destroyed the American defence, running for a crazy 190 metres in the first half alone. The 208 metre total, two touch downs and a wealth of creativity would be to the envy of any NFL superstar.
“Yeah we were outclassed today and we were disappointed with that,” US Eagles coach John Mitchell said afterwards. “We had issues around our setting which cost us. And also the lack of defensive resets sets, which was a problem with an effort thing. Ireland connected very well and clearly their programme is bringing through outstanding athletes.”