Sunday 23 July 2017

Geraghty reveals revenge mission

Shane Geraghty admitted England Saxons were spurred by "unfinished business" after they gained a revenge win against Ireland A.

The Northampton fly-half guided his team to victory, scoring a try, kicking two conversions and an injury-time penalty in their 17-13 success. It was a sweet moment for the Saxons, who were crushed 49-22 by Ireland's second string in the Churchill Cup final last summer.

"Mentally, leading up to the game we talked about unfinished business from last summer. We wanted to go after them in attack and defence. We had that mindset all week, and the big thing was to win," said Geraghty. "Ireland are an experienced team, and it was very physical out there, but we backed ourselves in defence especially, which is what won us the game."

Geraghty, who also pulled off a try-saving tackle on Ireland wing Fionn Carr, earned plaudits from Saxons boss Stuart Lancaster after what has been an international season of mixed emotions for him.

Geraghty started two of England's autumn Tests - at inside centre - against Australia and Argentina, but was then dropped for the final November appointment with New Zealand.

And he failed to gain a place in England manager Martin Johnson's revised elite squad last month, making him comfortably the most notable casualty.

Lancaster said: "Shane's contribution was first class. He is someone whose progress I have followed closely, and I think he has grown up a lot, both as a player and as a person.

"He is in a very competitive position at 10 - Jonny Wilkinson and Toby Flood are not poor players - and Shane needs to build his overall game.

"But he has got that innate ability to develop and finish things when gaps open up."

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