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The Natural

'It's just a bit of instinct', says Zebo after latest star turn

The Munster wing says he and his team-mates are encouraged to trust themselves and take a chances like his deft flick.

IRELAND WING SIMON Zebo says that the culture within the international camp allowed him the freedom to complete an audacious flick in the build-up to Cian Healy’s 24th minute try during today’s 30-22 Six Nations win over Wales.

Zebo’s intervention (which you can see in the video below, prevented a flowing move from breaking down after captain Jamie Heaslip had slightly mis-placed a pass to the on-rushing winger.

“You don’t really think too much about these things,” the Corkman told RTE Sport.

“It’s probably just a bit of instinct.  Jamie threw a pass a little bit behind me so I said I’d give it a go and thankfully it paid off.”

Asked about his apparent inability to exhibit any nerves on the big stage, he added:

“That’s just my personality, I’m not afraid to have a go and the coaching staff and everyone back me and everybody, so nobody feels pressure to shut up shop. everyone can express themselves, so it’s good.”

YouTube: RBSSixNations

If Healy was the man to benefit from Zebo’s outrageous, instinctive skill, then he was able to reap the rewards in the 11th minute when he was given a clean run to the line after Brian O’Driscoll’s offload from between three defenders.

“Ah, I just had to finish that. That was a bit of magic out of Brian, he’s capable of pulling anything out of nothing. I was just waiting on him to do something special and thankfully I got on the end of it.

Things would not work out so spectacularly for Ireland through the entire 80 minutes, however. So Zebo echoed his head coach Declan Kidney by praising the collective effort of the defence in the second half.

“They’re a very tough outfit,” said the man who will turn 23 on the day Ireland meet Italy this March, adding:

“We knew they were going to come with a bit of a backlash after half time. Thankfully we were able to hold out, but there were spells in that game when they were just throwing wave after wave at us and our defence really showed up in in the last 20, 30 minutes.

“It was brilliant.”

Reaction: Ireland put through the ringer and come out clean

Bodies on the line: Kidney hails selfless Irish defence

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