James Crombie/INPHO
killer instinct

Another strong finish will stand to Ireland, says try-scoring Dave Kilcoyne

The prop is making a habit of getting himself on the score-sheet, but today’s try was extra special.

DAVE KILCOYNE IS making a habit of scoring tries these days. And, as props are wont to do, he’s quite happy to play up his line-cross feats while the going is good.

“It’s four actually,” the prop intervenes when commended with a ‘third’ try of the season, his first for Ireland.

The semi-boast drew a laugh and Kilcoyne couldn’t hide his joy having grounded an important score in just his third start for his country, but the game face of the modern professional was soon drawn again.

“You’ve just got to buy into the system and, again, it’s the collective. We have a saying here: ‘You try and make everyone’s job easier’. That is the goal. You work as hard as you can to make the fella beside you‘s job easier and that is what we all try and do.”

And so you won’t find Kilcoyne patting himself on the back for the try, that was Eoin Reddan making his job easier.

“Happy to get the end of it but Redser took a great line, and again great lines by the forwards. If you are the end of a try, it is always good.”

The one group of players within today’s squad who certainly had the jar lid half opened for them were the replacements. 21 of Ireland’s 49 points were run in in the final 15 minutes and all six tries were scored in the second half.

Dave Kilcoyne charges at the Georgian defensive line Colm O'Neill / INPHO Colm O'Neill / INPHO / INPHO

In a game that otherwise bore little resemblance to the win over South Africa last week, Ireland’s willingness to keep pressing down the accelerator throughout the second half is a common trend in the past 12 months.

Kilcoyne credits the Georgian defence and breakdown with making Ireland wait so long for try-scoring rewards, but says the latest example of staying power will further strengthen the resolve in the camp.

“If you look at any of their games against tier one nations,” says the Munster prop, “they really stick in there for 50-60 minutes. It is only at the end that teams tend to break them.

“It was evident again tonight. They’re a real physical side, especially their maul contest, scrum. They’re quite physical and it was always going to take that. We knew we needed to back our fitness. That was the main thing.”

“It was a hugely physical game. It did take us to the 50 minute mark to break them. That will stand to us going into next week.”

Just as fitness around the park told in the end, the story was similar in the tight exchanges of the scrum. Kilcoyne says he had felt comfortable in the primary set-piece and both he and Schmidt were displeased by some of the interpretations made by referee JP Doyle. By the end, however, the prop was relishing the contact and sounded  disappointed that the scrummaging unit didn’t get the chance to turn the screw and force a late collective score.

“Anytime you give away a penalty it’s frustrating. It’s something we work really hard here to paint positive pictures. We did that for the majority of the game. There towards the end it would have been interesting if we let that scrum play on in the five metre. We would have probably got a penalty try.”

Now into double figures counting international caps, some might expect the 25-year-old to quickly put a win such as this 49 – 7 victory over Georgia behind him and move on to the more glamorous prospect of the Wallabies in six days’ time. Kilcoyne, though, isn’t willing to let the habit of playing international rugby to feel old hat just yet.

“Anytime you are representing your country, it’s a big honour. My whole family were there today. I know it’s a big occasion for them and a huge occasion for me. It is a big honour.”

Ireland take their time putting Georgia to the sword

In pics: Ireland score six second-half tries to thump Georgia

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