herald

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Molony keeps his feet on the ground after dream debut

Ross Molony
Ross Molony

Ross Molony lives in Sandymount, no more than a 10-minute walk from The RDS.

The internal dialogue on the stretch of his long legs home in the dark would have been something.

There was certainly no chance of a flight of fantasy for the 21 year-old kid as he is as grounded as the pavement beneath his feet.

The boy who played out of St Michael's College has been lean in his physique and in his press coverage, working away diligently in the background.

When presented post-match to the assembled crew of been-here-forever hacks, there was no visible sign of boyish excitement.

He had just been made Man of the Match on his Champions Cup debut for his ruling of the Leinster lineout against a formidable foe in Stuart Hooper.

But, there was a self-imposed outward exile from an easily accessible show of emotion that immediately brought to mind the bearing of his head coach at the same stage of his career.

This is a serious business, you see.

It has to be, for Molony had just shared his European baptism with three others in the front five in Peter Dooley, 21, Tadhg Furlong, 23, and James Tracy, 24.

It is no exaggeration, merely an exclamation mark about the next generation, that any one of the four could have been given the personal accolade.

It was a special night for all four and for another local Sandymount resident Luke McGrath and centre sensation Garry Ringrose.

The mask of concentrated fury must have dropped behind closed doors for a half-dozen young men bathed in a dream come true.

For all that, Molony hadn't left his implacable game-face in the dressing-room.

This is a professional on and off the field.

"Obviously, I'm delighted to be given the Man of the Match," he said.

"It is really looking forward now, leaving that behind, focusing on the Six Nations period and finishing out the group as strong as possible next week against Wasps and then on to The Dragons match."

It must have made no sense to clutter his head with thoughts of what planet he was on when there was another job just around the corner.

The maturity to have the night of his embryonic professional life and hold it all in was deeply impressive.

It is just the beginning.

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