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'The first try is ridiculous... His pace is absolutely frightening'

Jordan Conroy made a big contribution towards Ireland 7s qualifying for the Olympics.

Jordan Conroy celebrates in Monaco.
Jordan Conroy celebrates in Monaco.
Image: Manuel Blondeau/INPHO

Updated Jun 22nd 2021, 8:39 AM

WITH IRELAND TRAILING 12-7 and with a place at the Olympics on the line, Tullamore man Jordan Conroy stepped up to grab hold of their clash with France on Sunday in Monaco.

The 27-year-old’s scintillating first try allowed Ireland to edge back in front and he showed his pace once again for a second very soon after to leave them in control.

Conroy’s telling impact was discussed by Eoin Toolan and Murray Kinsella on the latest edition of The42 Rugby Weekly Extra – an analysis podcast available to members of The42 every Monday.

Murray: “I have to say I feared for them when they went 12-7 down for half-time and then their first possession in the second half, France got a turnover and it felt like this massive moment but then up steps Jordan Conroy.

“Time and time again he has done it. Colm in the The42 members Whatsapp group asks, ‘Is he the fastest player in rugby?’ and he certainly showed his pace for those two finishes. The first try in particular was just outstanding.”

Eoin: “The first try is ridiculous. Turnover ball and a couple of early sidesteps and then you see two French defenders in close proximity to each other so the assumption is that he’s going to try go around one of them.

“But he just decides to go right through the pair of them and you’re thinking that gap has to close but his pace is absolutely frightening. The acceleration he shows… it probably was a game-winning try in terms of the shift back in momentum for Ireland.

Source: World Rugby/YouTube

“He goes and scores again a couple of minutes later down that right edge but his pace is… I haven’t really seen anything like it. I know Tom Varndell was probably the one you think back to in terms of his try-scoring prowess years ago but Conroy seems to be at another level.

“His try-scoring ability on the circuit is phenomenal and he’s a huge asset to the 7s team.”

Murray: “I loved the interview with himself and Terry Kennedy afterwards, they have been such a good hit team together. The pair of them have such a good understanding built up over years, as they said, and it was Kennedy who got to the ball on the ground for that first try.

“Kennedy is such a creative player for the 7s and I was delighted then that it was Harry McNulty who seals it, a guy who was in the very first squad all the way back in Division C of Rugby Europe in 2015 and he has been battling away on the circuit, made himself one of the best players in the game, and a very popular character as well.

“These are guys who are the genuine originals and, as Billy Dardis mentioned, they’ve had a bit of heartbreak in their careers in terms of not getting into the provinces but what a cool way of turning your career around.”

Eoin: “The collective pain they’ve experienced together has probably been the catalyst to them getting to the Olympics. They’ve kept the core of that group together with an ultimate goal in mind and they’ve had to sacrifice a lot, as Dardis alluded to.

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“They’ve been training full-time with not a huge amount of income at their disposal and like all Olympic athletes, it’s an enormous sacrifice to get to the ultimate and you’re just delighted that they’re able to get there.

the-ireland-team-and-staff-celebrate-qualifying-for-tokyo-2020 Ireland 7s will be at the Olympics next month. Source: Manuel Blondeau/INPHO

“They’ve been knocking on the door and when they have been on the Series, they’ve shown they can mix it with the best. That’s the exciting thing too about the Olympics, they’re by no means making up the numbers.

“No one will want to draw them in the competition.”

Yesterday’s edition of The42 Rugby Weekly Extra also involved Eoin and Murray reflecting on the Ireland U20s’ win over Scotland in the Six Nations.

They discussed the stunning comeback victory for Harlequins against Bristol in the Premiership semi-finals and also spoke about the Blues winning Super Rugby Trans-Tasman.

You can sign up as a member of The42 here in order to listen to the extra rugby podcasts and a wide range of other shows on sportswriting, football, GAA, and coaching, as well as getting weekly newsletters and access to our lively member-only Whatsapp groups. 

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