Wednesday 18 September 2019

'We saw him do this in Chicago too': Luke Fitzgerald pinpoints CJ Stander's shrewd off the ball role in Munster's try

On this week's episode of The Left Wing, Luke Fitzgerald identifies CJ Stander's sneaky contribution to Munster's late try against Leicester last weekend.

The southern province looked to be heading for a third straight Champions Cup win after hooker Niall Scannell rumbled over off the back of a rolling maul late on, only for a last gasp Owen Williams penalty to deny Munster.

WATCH -  The Left Wing: Luke Fitzgerald analyses CJ Stander's cleverness, John Muldoon's shrewdness and Ross Byrne's quick thinking

Still, Fitzgerald thought there were plenty of positives for Rassie Erasmus to take, including this shrewd bit of play from back row CJ Stander.

Just like when Ireland played the All Blacks in Chicago, Stander was able to evade the referee's attention while he blocked an opposition defender, allowing a team-mate to take advantage and score.

Conor Murray was the beneficiary in green, and last Saturday evening it was Scannell who profited with a try.

Fitzgerald broke down Stander's telling contribution on the latest episode of The Left Wing.

"There was a partisan enough commentary team and I'm surprised they didn't notice this," Fitzgerald said.

International Rugby Newsletter

Rugby insights and commentary from our renowned journalists like Neil Francis, Will Slattery, Alan Quinlan & Cian Tracey.

"What I want to focus on here is CJ Stander at the head of the maul. He is smart about it - a lot of guys will try to grab the player and do it really obviously. All he does is grab one little hand on Luke Hamilton's shoulder just long enough for Niall Scannell to break through and score the try.

"It is just smart play. We saw CJ do this for Conor Murray's try over in Chicago, and it was just smart play from him again."

Watch the full episode below, with the discussion on Stander taking place from the eight minute mark:

Online Editors

The Left Wing: Ireland's fullback dilemma, World Cup bonding and the squad standby list

Also in Sport