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Rob hails 'biggest play' of bro Dave


Dave Kearney.  Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Dave Kearney. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Dave Kearney. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

TO think that Ireland's Six Nations Championship all came down to one split-second decision by Ireland wing Dave Kearney, writes Des Berry.

The French were on the rampage, pulling Ireland left and then right for Yoann Huget to beat Brian O'Driscoll's speed into the tackle with a textbook take-and-give to his captain Pascal Pape.

The overlap was clear and present. Number eight Damien Chouly stood ready in anticipation of beating the covering Jack McGrath to the corner flag.

Chouly just needed one light touch and legal pass from Pape. Kearney (pictured) must have known he was running out of time. He had to do what he could to increase pressure on the pass.

"I think it was Dave's single biggest play of the Championship really," said his brother Rob at the Aviva Stadium yesterday.

"I wouldn't say the impact was huge. He did really well because I think, if you look at it closely, Brian jammed a little bit and Dave accelerated right into it.

"He consciously knew he had to put him under big pressure."


The closing speed of Kearney right up into the face of Pape was enough for the second row to shuffle the ball forward in a pressure play that saved Ireland.

The emergence of Dave Kearney and the renaissance of Andrew Trimble has illustrated the importance of earning a chance and then taking it at international level.

Ireland have 10 internationals before they begin their three-match build-up to the 2015 World Cup. There are not that many openings to deepen the squad for the coaches.

"What is building for a World Cup? It probably is building a squad of 25 players, 30 players, who will be fully comfortable playing on a World Cup stage," said Kearney.

"But I think, at the same time, the coaches have a big job. They have to win each game. If you lose a game, it's not a valid excuse to say, 'it's okay, we're building for a World Cup'.

"If guys are given the jersey and perform well in it, you have to reward that and it's very difficult to drop someone who has played well just by having the mantra that you want to build a squad.

"There's a lot of guys in the country who deserve their opportunity to play for Ireland too. They just haven't had that right time to give it to them yet."

Cue the two-Test tour to Argentina in June.