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The Main Talking Points After A Hugely Successful Emerging Ireland Tour

The Main Talking Points After A Hugely Successful Emerging Ireland Tour
By Michael Bolton
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The Emerging Ireland side completed their tour of South Africa today with a hard fought 21-14 victory over the Cheetahs.

Tries form Nathan Doak, Jamie Osbourne and Shane Daly helped Emerging Ireland to victory, who had to dig deep at the end of the game with some excellent work at the breakdown keeping the Cheetahs out.

Despite concerns going into the tour, it has been an overall success for Simon Easterby’s side. Three wins from three, no serious injuries on tour and the majority of the squad experienced international camp for the first time.

As players return to their provinces ahead of a busy schedule and November internationals on the horizon, here are the main talking points from the tour.

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READ HERE: Jack Crowley Gives Brilliant Explanation Of His Development As An Outhalf

Rise Of Jack Cowley

Prior to the tour, all of the talk was about Ciarán Frawley at 10. However, Frawley picked up an injury with Leinster, making Jack Crowley the main fly-half in the squad.

Crowley took the opportunity with both hands. After a player of the match display in the first game against Griquas, he put in another solid display today.

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With Ben Healy not firing and Munster undecided where to play Joey Carbery, Crowley might be who they are crying out for in this difficult period.

More Options At Second Row

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While this is one area Ireland have options in, two long term players in this position are Tom Ahern and Joe McCarthy, with both men putting their hands up at provincial, and possibly international level.

30 September 2022; Joe McCarthy of Emerging Ireland is tackled by Janco Venter and Werner Gouws of Windhoek Draught Griquas during the Toyota Challenge match between Windhoek Draught Griquas and Emerging Ireland at Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein, South Africa. Photo by Johan Pretorius/Sportsfile

Ahern was a huge weapon for Ireland at the breakdown and the scrum, with a late turnover winning the game for Emerging Ireland today. Don’t be surprised if he’s thrown straight into Munster’s team next weekend, given their recent struggles at set-pieces.

McCarthy is a huge ball carrier to have in the second row, and will be a huge player for Leinster in the coming years.

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Leinster Back Row Conveyor Belt

With the embarrassment of riches Leinster have in the back row, it’s no surprise that another star has emerged from this tour. James Culhane was the standout player against the Pumas, with two tries for the number eight. His ball carrying and work in the breakdown shows the 19-year-old has a huge future ahead of him.

Max Deegan delivered solid performances when captaining the side, while Scott Penny continued his ridiculous try scoring for a seven. Both players will be keen to push on another level to start regularly for Leinster.

Players To Keep An Eye On

With all the talk of the positives and negatives of the Emerging side, it’s easy to forget who this tour really benefits, the next generation, who shined when given the opportunity. While there is also players who will feel like they have gained confidence from the time away from provinces

Connacht’s Cathal Forde put in a solid display at 12, while he is also an option at 10. His teammate Chay Mullins looks like a player that could become a serious talent at Connacht.

Munster’s Shane Daly showed signs of the form that got him capped for Ireland in 2020, with some brilliant attacking displays from full-back, while Calvin Nash was excellent on the wing. Both players will have given Graham Rowntree something to think about.

9 October 2022; Shane Daly of Emerging Ireland is tackled by Teboho Mohoje of Toyota Cheetahs during the Toyota Challenge Match between Toyota Cheetahs and Emerging Ireland at Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein, South Africa. Photo by Johan Pretorius/Sportsfile

For Ulster, Tom Stewart showed why he is so highly rated at hooker, and will challenge for a starting spot when he arrives back to the province, with Cormac Izuchukwu providing a different option in the second row.

SEE ALSO: Leinster Claim Victory In 13 Try Thriller Over Sharks

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