Former Irish international and Ulster flanker Stephen Ferris has fired back at TV3 rugby pundit Matt Williams over the Australian's criticism of Jared Payne's performance at the weekend.
Ferris tweeted out, in no uncertain terms, that Williams opinion on the Irish midfield performance was crap and that he thought his analysis was sub-standard to stay the least.
Matt Williams talking horse s**t about Ireland's midfield. #terriblepundit
— Stephen Ferris (@StephenFerris6) September 29, 2015
The Portadown man, who famously picked up Australia Scrum half Will Genia like a rag doll in the last world cup, is not the only Ulsterman to defend Payne. Current Ulster and Irish teammate Darren Cave has also jumped to the defense of his centre colleague. Speaking to Irish Independent he said that:
It can be frustrating when guys are just throwing out opinions which aren’t based on facts of what actually happened in the game, then suddenly that becomes everyone else’s opinion of guys who’ve had a couple of beers and watched the game.
I actually thought the Canada game was potentially Jared’s best game in green.
Cave, who has played a significant amount of time next to Payne in the centre, lists the qualities that Payne brings when you play next to him. These qualities include being a good communicator, seeing space well and being excellent to defend alongside.
Interestingly enough these are the some of the same qualities that both Gordon D'Arcy and Brian O'Driscoll highlighted when they both defended Payne's performances earlier this week
With Henshaw looking increasingly likely to be included in the Irish starting XV for the Italy game it will be interesting to see who Schmidt picks outside him with all signs pointing to Payne retaining his place in the team.
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Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE