Cave leads the way as Tonga are slayed
Ulster's Darren Cave scored two tries and Andrew Trimble also got on the score sheet as Ireland A out gunned a spirited Tonga at Ravenhill.
Former Ulster flanker Neil Best also grabbed a try as the Irish second string outscored the South Sea Islanders by seven tries to three.
The home side got the opening try after three minutes with Connacht prop Brett Wilkinson celebrating his first representative call-up with the touch down after Ian Humphreys put in a cross field. Denis Fogarty fielded and fed his front row colleague to crash over. Humphreys added two quick penalties to extend the home side’s lead but the visitors hit back on 16 minutes.
The backline moved the ball before full back Vungakoto Lilo came onto it at pace and caught the home defence napping to score under the posts with Clonakilty’s Kurt Morath converting.
Trimble scored the home side’s second try, finishing off a great back move which involved Ian Humphreys and midfield duo Darren Cave and Fergus McFadden.
Cave added a third try on 33 minutes following a great run from Sean O’Brien. The Leinster flanker fielded a clearance from Lilo on his own 22, he took off leaving the defence in his wake before releasing Cave to slide over in the corner.
Tonga had the last say of the half with Sukanaivalu Hufanga
scoring their second try to reduce the home side’s lead to 21-14.
Humphreys landed a third penalty two minutes after the restart and Tonga were reduced to 14 men when prop Mosese Moala was yellow carded on 47 minutes.
Flanker Neil Best created and finished Ireland’s fourth try on 53 minutes — the former Ulster loose forward stole a Tongan lineout and was driven over by his pack.
Gavin Duffy profited from a poor kick out of defence to score the home side’s fifth try. Ireland worked the ball wide and the Connacht full back had enough strength to stretch and get the ball down beside the corner flag.
Cave added his second try on 64 minutes. Andy Kyriacou went on a rampaging run before feeding his Ulster team-mate. Cave spun out of an attempted tackle to score.
Tongan replacement hooker William Hafu took advantage of some slack defending by Ireland at a lineout to crash over from close range.
Ian Keatley put the gloss on the Irish performance with a seventh try three minutes from the end. The Connacht outhalf showed his pace to out-strip the defence to go over and he was able to convert his own try.
Ireland A: G Duffy; S Horgan, D Cave, F McFadden, A Trimble; I Humphreys, P Stringer; B Wilkinson, D Fogarty, M Ross; D Toner, D Ryan; S O'Brien, N Best, C Henry.
Replacements: A Kyriacou for Fogarty 41 mins, B Young for Wilkinson 68 mins, D Tuohy for Ryan 68 mins, K McLaughlin for Henry 55 mins, I Boss for Stringer 59 mins, I Keatley for Humphreys 68 mins, J Murphy for Duffy 62 mins.
Tonga: V Lilo; A Fatafehi, S Hufanga, J Vaka, P Vakaloa; K Morath, for Filo 60 mins; T Toke, S Telefoni, M Moala, P Hehea, E Kauhenga; S Filo, U Fono, S Vahafolau.
Replacements: W Hafu for Telefoni 41 mins, P Taula for Toke 19 mins, P Fakalelu, L Faaoso for Filo 60 mins, R Mahe for Fono 69 mins, M Fangupo for K Fangupo , P Hola for Fatafehi 55 mins , M 'Ahota'e'iloa for Hufanga 53 mins.