The Emerging Ireland squad got their South Africa tour underway with a 54-7 victory over the Griquas today. While the South African side were poor, this Emerging Ireland side can take several positives from the opening game of this tour. Two tries from Scott Penny plus tries from Robert Baloucoune, Josh Wycherley, Stewart Moore, Shane Daly, Max Deegan, and Calvin Nash set them on their way.
While the quality of opposition may concern fans, eight tries against any side is a positive, especially with a team that have only spent days training with one another.
Here is who stood out for the Emerging Ireland side as they got off to a winning start in South Africa:
The Munster fly-half was the stand out player of the game, behind everything positive that was created by Ireland today, with an excellent 50:22 early in the game to set them on their way. A clever grubber kick from Crowley sent Daly over for his try, along with 12 points from the boot in an excellent display.
A strong tour from Crowley could be the spark Munster need as they haven’t got their season going yet, particularly in the back-line.
The Leinster flanker has scored tries for fun since he came on to the scene with the Blues in 2019, and continued today in the green jersey with two tries. Had it not been for an embarrassment as riches in the back-row for Leinster, Penny would have likely made his debut for Ireland by now. Plays at seven but runs like a winger, he is a lethal weapon for any side to have.
The Munster second row caused havoc for the Griquas at the lineout, with his poach setting up Baloucoune for his try.
Ahern will aim to get a regular starting spot in Munster this season, after showing he potential when he broke into the side last season. He uses 6 ft 9 inches stature ti cause teams nightmares at the line out.
Ahern’s second row partner Joe McCarthy also delivered a huge performance, with his work at the breakdown disrupting the Griquas throughout the game. Only 21, McCarthy looks like he has been playing at the top level for years. Showing signs of a young James Ryan, the Leinster second row has what it takes to make it to the very top.
Moore combined with Ulster team-mate Baloucoune for an excellent try in the second half. Having broke into the Ulster side at full-back, the 23-year-old put in a brilliant display at inside centre alongside Leinster’s Jamie Osbourne. Another strong showing at centre could give Ulster more options in the future.
That Rob Baloucoune offload 🤤
Finished nicely by Stewart Moore🔥 pic.twitter.com/KhtmRlrjVG
— Ulster Rugby (@UlsterRugby) September 30, 2022