herald

Monday 22 October 2018

It's coming together for Carbery

ON FORM: Joey Carbery. Photo: Sportsfile
ON FORM: Joey Carbery. Photo: Sportsfile

Ask what you can do for your new province; not what you can do for yourself.

The beauty of the team game is that you have to make those around you look better to make yourself better.

First, it would be naive, in the extreme, not to acknowledge the poverty of Ulster at Thomond Park.

They were without many of their marquee men and played like a squad struggling for any reasonable degree of depth.

That said, Joey Carbery took another step towards allowing Munster to move on from Ronan O'Gara.

They have never truly replaced the legendary marksman, who spent most of his career playing behind a Rolls Royce of a forward pack.

It is not stretching reality to suggest Carbery has more natural talent than O'Gara and Jonathan Sexton.

Needless to say, talent only takes you so far in this weekly challenge to personal ambition, commitment, composure and character. Even then, the influence of one man can only tell when everyone else is on the same page.

There were signs in the 64-7, nine-try humiliation of the Ulstermen that Munster are starting to come together.

The caution comes from how they have behaved away from home, falling flat on their faces in Glasgow and Cardiff.

"The frustrating thing is to do it every week," noted coach Johann van Graan.

"A real positive was the small things, some of the passing was excellent. The decision-making was very good.

"We didn't do anything fancy. We just kind of stuck to what we set out to do."

The in-game loss of John Cooney and Iain Henderson could not camouflage Ulster's lack of fight.

"I genuinely thought we would come down here and give a good account of ourselves, and we didn't," said coach Dan McFarland.

"That's the bottom line. We have to go away, take stock and take our medicine."

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