THERE was delight in both Currow and Castleisland Rugby Club on Monday evening after one of their most promising sons, JJ Hanrahan, played an instrumental part in Ireland's surprise opening round victory over hot favourites South Africa at the IRB Junior World Championship.
Playing at out-half, Hanrahan gave a man-of-the-match display in Stellenbosch scoring a total of 13 points which included a superb drop goal in the 57th minute on the Irish team's way to a 23-19 triumph over the Baby Boks.
The Irish U-20 team's victory was all the more astonishing considering they had taken some heavy defeats against the same opposition last year, but secretary of Castleisland Rugby Club, Bill Horgan, said the club were delighted the Currow native got his opportunity to play at out-half.
"We had always felt that was his proper position. He had played there with ourselves and Rockwell and with UL Bohemians at the moment but he had been used a centre when he joined the Irish set-up.
"All round I thought his performance was outstanding, his tackling, his defensive play as well the line breaks were phenomenal. The club has wound down for the year, but certainly depending on how far the Irish progress we would be hoping to get everyone together to follow JJ for the rest of the tournament," Horgan told The Kerryman.
Ireland play England in their next match on Friday evening before playing their final Pool game against Italy on Tuesday evening. The three Pool winners along with the best runnerup in the Pool stage will advance to the semi-finals of the competition.