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Addison shows class for Ireland as Carty does 'really well' in Cardiff

The Ulsterman demonstrated signs of his quality at fullback in Cardiff.

Murray Kinsella reports from Principality Stadium

TASKED WITH CONVINCING Joe Schmidt that he’s capable of contributing to Ireland’s World Cup campaign in Japan, Jack Carty couldn’t have done too much more than secure the man-of-the-match award in Cardiff.

The Connacht man played the full 80 minutes at out-half in Ireland’s 22-17 win and showcased his creativity at the centre of an improved performance from Schmidt’s side, albeit against considerably weaker opposition than England last weekend.

On the day he turned 27, Carty also made his first Test start for Ireland, winning his sixth cap in the process.

jack-carty-after-the-game Carty was named man of the match in Cardiff. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

He was key to Ireland’s best try of the game, with his darting half-break and offload inside to Andrew Conway in the build-up to Jacob Stockdale’s second score showing the fluid attacking qualities Carty possesses.

He had a clever chip out of Ireland’s defensive territory in the first half too, while he was very close to providing an assist for Conway in the second half, referee Romain Poite ruling his floated pass forward.

Carty slipped off a couple of tackles but landed some good shots too, contributing to what was an improved performance overall.

With Johnny Sexton certain to travel to Japan and Joey Carbery in the same boat if his ankle injury comes good – which it’s expected to – Carty has been in competition with Ross Byrne for the possible third out-half slot in Ireland’s squad.

“You’ve got a number of different 10 options,” said Schmidt in Cardiff.

“One [Sexton] hasn’t played yet but we all know that if he plays next week then he’ll go, then there’s another one [Carbery] who I thought had 50 superb minutes against Italy and is currently injured but might be back on the bench next week or certainly back for Scotland.

“And Jack has done incredibly well and Ross, I thought, was really unlucky [against England]. He got all the tired legs for his opportunity and he didn’t get front-foot ball or the time and space that Jack got today.

“Jack made the most of it, Jack did really well. And he did really well when he came on here [in Cardiff] in the Six Nations – in that little cameo that he played, he did superbly.

“You know that little grubber kick through for Jacob Stockdale created the linebreak that led to our try, albeit when the game was lost.

“He’s a creative player, Jack, and a good, instinctive player.”

will-addison-is-tackled-by-jarrod-evans Will Addison looks to offload for Ireland. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Carty would appear the favourite to travel to Japan now, and there were others who pressed their cases in Cardiff – Dave Kilcoyne and Andrew Porter chief among them

Conway was sharp in the back three and set up that excellent try for Stockdale, while fullback Will Addison – fit again – was impressive.

It wasn’t a perfect performance from the Ulsterman but he was able to show his class with some gliding runs. He was forced into the blood bin in the second half of Ireland’s win, before departing permanently soon after returning to the fray.

“He some things really well,” said Schmidt of Addison. “He got a superficial cut, he came back on and had a little bit of cramp. Because he hadn’t played for so long, we just took him off to make sure that he didn’t pick up any injury because of that calf cramping up.

“He has such a balanced running style, he gets a good look at the pitch running from fullback. He’s an accomplished kicker and accomplished at kicking goals as well, so he’s a good back-up to have from that perspective.

“But he’s underdone, he hasn’t had as much rugby as we would have liked him to have gotten. He didn’t play a lot all year up until today, he was missing right through the Six Nations.

“His versatility is a huge strength for him, the fact that he can genuinely play on the wing, he’s got high speed.

“Obviously, he stepped in very late at 13 for us against Argentina, so he can probably cover the full spectrum of the back three and 13, which is an asset when you’re trying to narrow a squad down.

“We’ll be looking at him and comparing a few other guys to see who best fits the mould.”

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Murray Kinsella

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