crowd favourite

'The reaction from the crowd to Joey's try was the best'

Johann van Graan was delighted with his young out-half’s performance against Ospreys.

Ryan Bailey reports from Musgrave Park

THE STANDING OVATION, as all four corners of this ground showed their appreciation for a truly exceptional performance, said it all as Joey Carbery produced a masterclass behind a dominant Munster forward pack.

Joey Carbery after the match Billy Stickland / INPHO Carbery was brilliant against Ospreys tonight. Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

The 22-year-old out-half marked his first start for the province with an outstanding display and it hasn’t taken long for the summer arrival from Leinster to endear himself around these parts.

Carbery received a rousing reception as he made his way from the Musgrave Park pitch 58 minutes into a game he had stamped his authority all over, as Johann van Graan’s side stormed to a seven-try victory over Ospreys.

With his parents watching from the stands, Carbery oozed class, confidence and conviction throughout and not only did he produce the game’s standout moment with a virtuoso first-half score, but was faultless in all facets.

While his first try in Munster red will be remembered by those who were on hand to witness Carbery dancing his way past two Ospreys defenders after latching onto a loose kick, most impressive was the way he pulled the strings in open play with smart decision-making and a pinpoint kicking game.

Speaking afterwards, Munster head coach van Graan was understandably delighted by his out-half’s performance, pointing particularly to his five successful conversions off the tee as a true measure of its quality. 

“I think if you play out-half behind a pack of forwards that played like that tonight then it makes it a lot easier,” van Graan said after watching his side run out 49-13 winners.

“I think we got a lot of go forward ball from our maul and our scrum and I thought Duncan [Williams], I think it was his 155th game tonight, I thought he had some good service to him.

“There were some special moments there for Joey, that try of his. He picked it up early, took it at full pace and beat two defenders. The reaction from the crowd to that try was the best.

“But I think the thing that was most impressive for me, if I’m not mistaken he had a 100% goal kicking record and that was one of the things that we targeted. There were some difficult kicks that he kicked over. 

“I think he’s going to be a great player for Munster.”

Joey Carbery kicks a conversion Dan Sheridan / INPHO The out-half kicked all five of his conversion attempts. Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

A first-half penalty try set the southern province on their way before Carbery, James Cronin, Rhys Marshall, Arno Botha and Darren Sweetnam all crossed in a rampant display on the newly-laid 3G surface.

With returning internationals such as Peter O’Mahony and Andrew Conway showing no sign of early-season rust, and the fit-again Chris Cloete an absolute demon at the breakdown, Munster were utterly dominant from start to finish against a weakened Ospreys outfit.

Overall, van Graan was happy with his side’s response from last week’s defeat to Glasgow Warriors as they picked up another emphatic bonus-point win at home. 

“I thought our breakdown performance was exceptional tonight, not only on our ball but also on defensive breakdown, we chose a few more poaches and there were a lot of poaches available tonight,” he added.

“Pretty happy with the reaction and like I said, any time you score four tries in the first half, it sets you up for a good win. I’ll take the five points any day of the week.” 

The challenge now is to replicate that on the road, starting with next week’s trip to Cardiff.

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