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Dublin: 11°C Thursday 6 May 2021

Carbery shines for Munster in 'special performance' at Kingsholm

The 23-year-old out-half scored two tries and kicked at 100% for the third time in a row.

Murray Kinsella reports from Kingsholm

THERE WERE HIGHLIGHTS aplenty to choose from in this Joey Carbery performance.

The grubber kick for Andrew Conway’s try was chief among them.

Having nearly teed up Munster’s right wing for a first-half try with a grubber off his right foot, Carbery pulled the act off with a deft touch from his left foot in the second half.

Rory Scannell and Joey Carbery Carbery was man of the match in Gloucester. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

The kick came after Munster switched play to the right, Carbery spying the empty Gloucester backfield as he moved and then releasing his grubber just before meeting a tackle, the perfectly-weighted touch leaving Conway with an ideal finish.

23-year-old Carbery’s display included two tries of his own, one a finish off a sharp Conor Murray pass following some outstanding ball-carrying by several of his team-mates and the second an intercept score after he read Ben Morgan’s intention to move the ball wide.

There were intelligent passes, some good play calling and a 100% return off the tee for Carbery too, the third game in a row he has landed all of his kicks at goal.

Carbery’s response to a disappointing performance for Munster away to Castres a month ago has been superb, with strong showings against Leinster, Connacht and now Gloucester.

“Obviously, we weren’t at our best for Castres away and we gave all the guys a week off, started to regenerate in all facets of play,” said Munster head coach Johann van Graan after Munster’s 41-15 win last night.

“If you’re a 10, you’re going to take some criticism but we knew from day one that he’s here to learn and here to be part of a team.

“I thought he’d played really well over the last three weeks and to me, his decision making – when to run, when to pass, when to kick, when to show – I thought that was excellent tonight.

“One or two of the plays came off and the one for Andrew’s try that went to the blind, again the decision that he made was so good.”

Joey Carbery celebrates scoring his second try with Andrew Conway and Chris Farrell Andrew Conway and Chris Farrell celebrate with Carbery. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt, who has always backed Carbery’s ability as an out-half and helped to bring about his move to Munster from Leinster last summer, will also have been encouraged by the out-half’s performance in Kingsholm.

For Munster, it’s exciting to think just how much further Carbery may develop as he matures, but the Athy man is already winning the province’s fans over in their droves.

While van Graan was keen to underline the quality of the collective showing last night, he did call Carbery’s performance “special”.

“Firstly, about the team, if I can start wider,” said van Graan. “You’ve got to give credit to the management and the coaching staff after that performance, all credit to them.

“Even the guys who played against Leinster A tonight, this whole week was about the squad and about this performance. Everyone put their heart and soul into this one because we knew we needed to get through this one to keep us alive for next week.

“Then the 23 guys that played their part on the field, I thought all 23 guys did that.

“I think Joey capped it off with a special performance and if I’m not mistaken, he didn’t miss a goal-kick again, that’s three weeks in a row. That’s what wins you games.

“I thought he and Conor [Murray] really played well together tonight and I thought they combined well with Scans [Rory Scannell] and Chris Farrell. I thought Mikey [Mike Haley] at the back was really good and Andrew and Earlsy [Keith Earls] pounced on the opportunities that came their way. A really good team performance.”

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Murray Kinsella

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