bad day for...
The scrum-half's ponderous display in Edinburgh, and retreat down the pecking order in Munster on his comeback from injury last season, were further validated when Conor Murray stepped up to the plate in onerous conditions. Kidney's faith in O'Leary will surely be tested now.
For a player who needed to claw back some credit since returning from injury earlier this year, Fitzgerald is still trying too hard to impress and one senses that he is clinging on to a squad berth by his fingernails. His trouble is that he may not get another chance to impress.
With all due deference to Gert Smal, the only member of a senior World Cup winning squad among the Irish set-up, surely now his faith in the Sale-bound prop must be exhausted. A set scrum may have purloined an unlikely but deserved draw. Instead, the scrum buckled. Buckley-d more like.
Jerry Flannery's late overthrow notwithstanding, the Ulsterman's errant darts were a cause for concern all day and, just as with the Scottish experience during the Six Nations, it is difficult to rely on his throwing to any consistent degree.
It seems that Murphy's restoration to fitness has come a tad too late and the Leicester star may miss a second World Cup in three attempts, particularly if he is consigned to play the Connacht game this week. Felix Jones looked remarkably comfortable and, even though he may not make the plane, he is ahead of Murphy in the queue.