The heir to the throne? Joey Carbery reminded everyone just what a player he is going to become tonight, putting in one of the performances of the year in Munster's 41-15 Champions Cup victory over Gloucester.
The out-half ended the match with an incredible personal tally of 26 points, including two tries, as he led his side to a comfortable bonus point win. He orchestrated everything that went well for Munster throughout the evening.
While Gloucester started the stronger in the opening few minutes, Munster would score the first try of the game just after the 20 minute mark, with Carbery touching down after some persistent play from the forwards.
He converted a vital try from Rory Scannell just before half time, and his kicking was exemplary all day. He would score two penalties and five conversions, not missing a single attempt. He nailed a wonderful kick to convert Keith Earls' try after 57 minutes, before providing a moment of magic to secure the bonus point for Munster.
His wonderfully placed chip in behind the Gloucester defence was picked up by Andrew Conway, who ran the ball in to for the away side's fourth try.
Just a few moments later, Carbery would run in his second try of the night, pouncing on a loose pass inside his own half and finishing it off.
🔥 Beautiful kick
👌 Beautiful interception
Joey Carbery is the man of the moment 👏
A devastating couple of minutes! pic.twitter.com/M8IFep63PG
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) January 11, 2019
TRY MUNSTER! Joey Carbery is putting on an absolute clinic here, amazing. He intercepts a sloppy pass and runs it home from within his own half. He converts the try, and it's 26 points for him on the night! 41-15...
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) January 11, 2019
It was a masterclass from Carbery, and acted as a timely reminder to the quality Ireland have throughout their squad. For Munster, they will be delighted to see their summer recruit put in a display of such immense quality, filling a position that has not been a strength for Munster in a number of years.
His performance certainly had the approval of a certain former Munster number 10.
Simply stunning JC.. capacity to scan on the run and execute belongs to very few..#Special
— Ronan O Gara (@RonanOGara10) January 11, 2019
Rugby fans were equally astounded by his showing:
Got to feel for Joey Carbery. One of the biggest talents in world rugby and yet he can’t get a start for his country because the 10 in front of him happens to be the current World Rugby Player of the Year in Johnny Sexton. 🤦♂️ hell of a sub to have mind. #IRU #Munster
— Marcello Cossali-Francis (@marcello95cf) January 11, 2019
— Blonkie (@blonkie18) January 11, 2019
— Danny Mullane (@maac_muller) January 11, 2019
— Three Red Kings (@threeredkings) January 11, 2019
26 points for Joey Carbery, 2 tries, 100% kicking record, superb grubber assist, excellent tackling and attacked the line... THIS is why he couldn’t be left to play 2nd fiddle in the east, big moment in his development looking to the #WRC. #Munster #ChampionsCup #GLOvMUN
— Gárbh Madigan (@GarbhM) January 11, 2019
— Urlofcork (@urlofcork) January 11, 2019
The result leaves Munster sitting pretty at the top of the pool on 17 points. Castres meet Exeter tomorrow, with the winner of that game the only side capable of catching the leaders.
Munster will host The Chiefs in the final pool game.