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'Competent Without Being Excellent' - Rob Kearney Assesses Casey/Byrne Axis

'Competent Without Being Excellent' - Rob Kearney Assesses Casey/Byrne Axis
Colman Stanley
By Colman Stanley
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While Ireland were made to work as hard they ever had been for a win over Italy, they were missing roughly six or seven first XV players - some through injury and others because of rotation.

Ross Byrne and Craig Casey came in at nine and ten, following on from their excellent cameos against France two weeks ago.

Post-match, in the Virgin Media studios, Rob Kearney gave his thoughts on their half-back partnership, and seemed content with their performances.

I would say that they were competent without being excellent.

Of the two I would say that Ross Byrne was marginally better than Casey. He dictated play very well, Ireland attacked very well, and generally if the team attacks very well, you've got to give the ten an awful lot of the credit.

I think it's quite clear now that Ross Byrne is our second choice number 10, and that has been a huge question over the last couple of years.

Neither of them had their best, top class performance but they were still good.

Rob Kearney Assesses Ross Byrne And Craig Casey vs Italy


25 February 2023; Ross Byrne of Ireland during the Guinness Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Italy and Ireland at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Italy. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

READ HERE: Bundee Aki Was Incredibly Honest About His Own Performance After Ireland's Win Over Italy


"It was a tough match, a proper Test match," said Ireland head coach Andy Farrell.

"You know when they get the field position that they crave that they're going to be able to win games.

"Which Irish fan wouldn't have been biting their nails when the cross-field kick went in and bounced very close. That's what Test matches are all about and that's how it should be."


SEE ALSO: Ireland v Italy: Ireland Player Ratings As Ireland Outgun Dogged Italy In Rome

Ireland v Italy: Ireland player ratings

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