Sunday 21 July 2019

'I see that star ability' - Ronan O'Gara compares Joey Carbery to Beauden Barrett again after impressive cameo

Ronan O'Gara (inset) is excited by what Joey Carbery can offer
Ronan O'Gara (inset) is excited by what Joey Carbery can offer Newsdesk Newsdesk

Ronan O'Gara reiterated his comparison between Joey Carbery and All Blacks star Beauden Barrett after the Munster flyhalf steered Ireland to a much-needed win over the Scots.

Carbery threw a wild intercept pass that Finn Russell picked off, before racing clear and popping off the ground for Sam Johnson to score as Ireland toiled away against the Scots on Saturday.

The 23-year-old fly-half gathered both composure and poise however, conjuring Keith Earls' winning try in piloting Ireland's 22-13 victory.

Carbery held his nerve in almost an hour at the tiller after Johnny Sexton's head injury, and O'Gara was impressed.

"The great thing about him now is playing consistently, he's trusting his instincts," said O'Gara on Virgin Media Sport.

"I got slagged off 12 months ago for comparing him to Beauden Barrett but I genuinely see that star ability in him. He's 23-years-of-age, imagine what he's going to be like in three years' time if he continues his progress.

"His capacity to just process that decision-making and make it just look easy for Earlsy

"The ball was nearly going in slow motion in the air. He was kind of going, 'There you go Earlsy, touch that down for me.'

"The great thing about him is he never seeks the safety or the comfort of the ground like some people do. In open spaces, he gets really excited.

"Was he formed in New Zealand? He has all the signs there; you can see that he's most comfortable with ball in hand. It's the kicking that he probably needs to work on a little bit."

Carbery's Munster and Ireland teammate Chris Farrell was also delighted with the young flyhalf's contribution after his early error.

"He can bring massive confidence into how he reacted to that himself," said Farrell.

"It's a great learning experience for him, and shows just how resilient he is.

"He's a massively resilient character in Munster as well.

"I've got to know him really well in the last six months down in Limerick, and it's great for him to have bounced back the way he did.

"Because he managed to get control of things, made a nice little break for Earlsy's try, and he looked really dangerous in attack.

"The way he reacted, and the way we all did, that can give us confidence as a team too.

"You always feed off your 10, especially as a centre. And to play outside Joey when he's playing with confidence and has his head up, that's great."

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