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Saturday 1 October 2016

Ireland pursue another record

But Stander's ban is unlikely to be appealed as Ruddock will fill gap left by Munster man

Rhys Ruddock will fill in for CJ Stander in the second Test Picture: Sportsfile
Rhys Ruddock will fill in for CJ Stander in the second Test Picture: Sportsfile

Ireland assistant coach Richie Murphy doesn't sound like a broken record. He is just part of one (ba dum tsh).

And he wants another to go in his collection. The first win in South Africa has been celebrated and professionally pocketed. The first series win is next on the agenda at Ellis Park.

The ideal scenario would be to seal the deal on Saturday rather than have to contemplate the snarling Springboks at Port Elizabeth in ten days' time.

"I've been around the Irish team for a couple of years now," he said.

"This is my third season with them and one thing you get from them is that they'll never be overly happy with big wins.They just move on to the next game,

"They've done something that no other Irish team has done before," he stated. "But the group of players that they are, they'll just try and move on and break another record."

Ireland are unlikely to challenge the one-week ban handed out to their 'granite man,' according to Skills and Kicking coach.

CJ Stander has been undone by the guilty verdict handed down by disciplinary official Terry Willis and the totally unsatisfactory, snail-like process that took three days out of Ireland's seven from the first Test to the second.

The Irish still hadn't received the written judgement when Murphy hosted the media in Johannesburg yesterday.

"We're disappointed in the verdict," he said.

"It's one of those things where a player's (Pat Lambie) got injured on the pitch.

Intention

"We're disappointed for that as well. That was never the intention from CJ.

"I suppose the process that he's gone through over the last three days has just taken forever.

"It's been very slow. That's something that's probably gone against CJ at this stage."

The Munster captain will have to sit and suffer through what would have been one of the most important matches in his career, leaving Ireland without his physical attributes.

"His work rate is really high and, obviously, he's made of granite.

"He's one of those guys that will get you on the front foot," reflected Murphy.

Unless there is a glaring error in the report, Ireland will not appeal the punishment.

Afterall, they have to move on quickly with Leinster's highly-regarded Rhys Ruddock already training in the number six shirt.

"It gives opportunities to other guys, like Rhys, who's had a really good season this year.

"We've got Rhys there who can step into those shoes, if needed," stated Murphy.

There are other options to consider too.

For instance, Ultan Dillane must be coming closer to convincing Schmidt his time has come.

The explosive Connacht forward made another impressive cameo in the first Test, carrying with intent and tackling low and sure.

A case could be made for the Tralee man to start beside Devin Toner in the second row, with Iain Henderson reverting to the flank.

For all of the Ulsterman's big plays in Newlands, Ireland have to have as many impact carriers as possible in light of Stander's plight.

Ruddock can be that man. Henderson can be too.

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