Friday 20 April 2018

Wingers give Kidney a selection dilemma

Declan Kidney was especially pleased with Ireland's defence
Declan Kidney was especially pleased with Ireland's defence

Ireland coach Declan Kidney admitted that wingers Craig Gilroy and Fergus McFadden have left him with a selection headache ahead of next Saturday's clash against Argentina.

Gilroy scored a hat-trick in the 53-0 annihilation of Fiji at Thomond Park, while McFadden chipped in with a double and played makeshift flanker when Chris Henry was sent to the sin-bin.

"Overall, the first half went okay," Kidney said. "The third quarter definitely died a lot and we'll have to take a good look at that because that was the section last week (against South Africa) that cost us."

He added: "We finished strongly but the thing that pleased me most was the defence. Even though we were points ahead we defended stoically.

"There were a lot of young men out there having their first go and I think it would be wrong to single any one player out. There was a fair bit of finishing from some of the backs but there was good work done by the forwards too.

"Craig (Gilroy) seemed to enjoy it. I'm sure Fergus (McFadden) will remind him that he was in the scrum that led to one of his tries.

"It was a good team effort and the wingers, well it's their job to finish the chances when they come to them. Fair play to him, he took his chances when they came his way."

Gilroy announced himself on the European stage at the same ground last April, scoring a scintillating try against Munster in the Heineken Cup quarter-final.

The 21-year-old was delighted with his evening's work and said: "The Ulster lads did well but I thought the team, as a whole, were great.

"We've only been together a short while but we've gelled really quickly and I think that showed tonight. Any chance I get to put on the jersey and play for my country is a big step for me. It is something that I have worked towards really hard and I'm glad I took my opportunity tonight."

Press Association

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