herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Rob rueing a full stop

Kearney sad to miss date with Edinburgh as Ireland duty looms

THERE’S a restlessness about Rob Kearney that can be hard to explain. Ask him about his own form and he delicately deflects any praise to the wider team dynamic.

Talk to the Leinster and Ireland full-back about the province’s improved good run of form and he looks to the future. Mention the word ‘drive’ and he pinpoints the ongoing quest for excellence.

So, in sporting terms, he’s never happy. Which is why, when earlier this week reflecting on Leinster’s win in the Sportsground, he found holes in the performance with only the faintest hint of praise.

In his six appearances to date this season he has grown immeasurably with each passing moment.

STRIDES

He acknowledges the strides that Leinster have made in recent weeks and though he is unlikely to be involved in tomorrow night’s clash, he believes the Leinster squad have the strength to get a winning result against a high-flying Edinburgh.

“When you win a tight game like last weekend, you know that you’re in a better position than we had been in the earlier weeks, but we’re nowhere near the level we want to be at,” the 24-year-old maintained.

“I think last Saturday was a really important win for us because we could have slipped down the table a little bit further, so to get the four points away from home keeps us kicking along nicely towards the top four.”

How would he assess the previous month given the difficulties experienced in the opening rounds of the Magners League? “Pleasing,” he says with a gush of delight mixed with relief.

“It was a fantastic few weeks kick-started by the victory over Munster in the Aviva Stadium and we built on that form into two really difficult opening rounds in the Heineken Cup.

CHARACTER

“Having come through those three games the Connacht match was a massive test of our character because in the past we might have taken the foot off the gas.

But we backed up the previous weeks with a hard fought win in Galway, which is always a tough place to come to and win.

“The start of the season didn’t go exactly to plan, but we have shown character to turn it around.”

This week’s focus shifted for Kearney to the Ireland training camp in Limerick ahead of the start of the Guinness Series. With the Springboks arriving in Dublin next week, Ireland will need to hit the ground running.

Before that Kearney will be an interested, albeit frustrated, spectator when he takes his place in the stands alongside some of his international colleagues.

In a strange circumstance, those who have been selected for next week’s Ireland squad are neither injured, suspended nor out of favour but yet are unavailable for selection.

Opportunity will knock once more for some of the younger guns who, along with a handful of experienced players, will attempt to temper the capabilities of what is sure to be a full strength Edinburgh side.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News