Tuesday 26 September 2017

Tiernan's class has been shining light

Connacht's Tiernan O'Halloran in action. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Connacht's Tiernan O'Halloran in action. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Johnny O'Connor

I was delighted for Tiernan O'Halloran that he picked up the Connacht Rugby Players' Player of the Year Award at the ceremony they had in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Galway last Sunday night.

He's the real class act in the team at the moment, and he has that international presence about him that makes him a stand-out performer in every game he plays right now.

The facts tell you everything when it comes to the consistency of Tiernan's performances all season, and he has dominated the Guinness Pro12 with his brilliant counter-attacking runs, even despite Connacht's lack of consistency around him.

He'll be the first to tell you that he didn't exactly have a great game against Scarlets last weekend. But you can forgive him for one slip-up. He's a class act and I look forward to seeing him more often in the green of Ireland into the future.

There's no doubting that he can be world-class in the No 15 jersey, and once Joe Schmidt places a little bit more faith in him, I'm sure he will flourish even more and become the real deal on that stage too.

But for now it's crucial he stays fit and backbones this Connacht drive for Champions Cup rugby towards the end of the season. I don't know what Connacht would have done without him this year.

Irish Independent

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