Saturday 3 December 2016

Conway backs off-load king Sweetnam to kick on and become a star

Declan Rooney

Published 16/09/2016 | 02:30

Munster's Darren Sweetnam Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Munster's Darren Sweetnam Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Andrew Conway has backed Munster team-mate Darren Sweetnam to become a star - sooner rather than later.

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Former Leinster flier Conway scored a try on his seasonal reappearance last weekend but Munster slumped to a 24-23 defeat at home to Cardiff.

His try was set up by the brilliance of winger Sweetnam, who has played all 80 minutes in both games so far this season.

Conway always knew that the former Cork hurler possessed the talent to pull of show-stopping off-loads, and is delighted to see more consistency now.

"You would see the odd off-load - I remember he had a ridiculous one against Ospreys in Cork," said Conway.

"And no-one knew was that just a ridiculously good off-load or is that standard. That's pretty standard now.

"We were having a backs meeting the other day and Felix Jones said, 'if Sweetnam gets the ball all the other players have to expect an off-load' so it's brilliant to be playing with players like that.

"For my try the other day, he got it. I ran in behind and let him do his thing, he beat the man and I called for it. But I wasn't really expecting it because of how far away I was and where we were in the pitch.

Brilliant

"I thought he might just play it safe but he put it right into the basket. It's brilliant playing with lads like that."

Conway, who sustained a Grade 2 MCL injury to his knee at the end of last season against Scarlets, has played 53 times for Munster and scored 13 tries and he is hoping they can bounce back tomorrow against the Dragons at Rodney Parade.

"It's so competitive everywhere that every time lads are playing they need to be playing really well.

"Even though we lost last week you could see good performances out on the pitch," he said.

"Especially in the back three - Sweets has been a revelation, Ronan O'Mahony is always one of the top performers, so that is no different.

"With Zeebs (Simon Zebo) there and (Keith) Earls there are plenty of options and there are a few young lads coming through as well.

"But I am quite happy with how I went last week at full-back and pretty confident that going forward I can nail it down."

Irish Independent

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