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Dublin: 6 °C Monday 17 February, 2020

Conor Murray needs to offload Ireland's kicking responsibility to focus on returning to form

This week on The42 Rugby Weekly, Andy and Murray look at Ireland’s kicking habits, and how they are “over-relying” on the scrum-half.

IN LAST WEEK’S win over Scotland, Conor Murray made 13 kicks. Joey Carbery made two, one of which was kicking the ball out for half-time. 

Conor Murray’s box-kicking ability has become a pillar of the Irish game in recent years, but its effectiveness is being stifled by teams that recognise the threat. 

This week on The42 Rugby Weekly, Andy Dunne and Murray Kinsella took a look at why Conor Murray’s box-kicks aren’t working, and where the alternative options lie. 

“Conor’s having a dip in form, which happens”, said Dunne. “He’s been outstanding for two or three years. He’s definitely having a dip in form.

“I would love to see Conor Murray [have] the responsibility taken off him, tell him to get nippy with his passing again – get low to the ground. Clear the ball away from the ruck much faster than he’s doing and let somebody else make a few decisions.

“Johnny should be doing that; Joey should be doing that; O’Mahony – guys like that are leaders are on the field.

“They ought to recognise that the guy doesn’t look too happy at the moment. He’s not playing great. Give him a break. Stop putting pressure on him when everyone else on the opposition is putting pressure on him.

“Just abandon the tactic for a couple of weeks. It’s not like we don’t have two or three easy fixes.

“There’s no philosophical or fundamental shifts required for Conor to pass to Johnny and Johnny to throw a screen pass behind the centres to Rob Kearney, who buries it 70 meters. That’s so easy.”


Also discussed on the podcast was the return of spiral kicking, inspired by Emily Scarratt’s beautiful kick in England’s game against France at the weekend.

And we look at where Joey Carbery (and others) will fit into plans for the remainder of the competition along with Ireland’s electric under 20s. 

For all of that and more, check out this week’s The42 Rugby Weekly on iTunes, Soundcloud or wherever you get your podcasts.

Murray Kinsella, Andy Dunne and Gavan Casey break down Ireland’s dogged win against Scotland in Murrayfield, and look at the room for improvement, in the latest episode of The42 Rugby Weekly.

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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