Thursday 19 September 2019

Furlong to the fore

Tadhg's big contribution to victory

Tadhg Furlong of Leinster in action against Julien Marchand (Toulouse) in the Heineken Champions Cup game in the RDS on Saturday
Tadhg Furlong of Leinster in action against Julien Marchand (Toulouse) in the Heineken Champions Cup game in the RDS on Saturday

Brendan Furlong

As Leinster closed in on a home quarter-final, Tadhg Furlong once again made a huge contribution to their 29-13 victory over Toulouse in their European Champions Cup game played before a sold-out RDS on Saturday.

The Horeswood native is continuing his remarkable form of last season, which also has him shortlisted for the Sportswriters' player of the year due to be announced last night (Monday) in the company of top Irish players and leading performers from their rival Six Nation sides.

Leinster were short a number of key players through injury, but the experienced players took up the challenge.

And with the replacements showing the undoubted quality that is at the disposal of Leo Cullen and Stuart Lancaster, their supreme determination saw them avenge their sole Group One defeat which was endured away to the French opposition.

This was a champions' performance, with Furlong contributing from the start. His scrummaging was excellent, while his tackle count and driving runs contributed so much to the side having quality ball that they managed to run in four tries for their bonus point.

This could yet be crucial in deciding a home quarter-final after their final pool game away to Wasps this weekend.

Meanwhile, Wexford players continue to develop through the various provincial systems as both Brian Deeny and Jack Stafford had their impact on the Leinster 'A' and Munster 'A' sides in their inter-provincial clash at Thomond Park on Friday.

The two ex-Wexford Wanderers players were used as replacements by the respective sides as the home crew triumphed on a 26-22 scoreline.

For Deeny it marked his tremendous progress through the system as just two season back he was playing inter-county Minor football with Wexford.

The Wexford town player was introduced as a second-half replacement and marked his presence with some excellent line-out play as Leinster went down to a narrow defeat.

Jack Stafford, who has enjoyed some experience as a member of the Munster squad, took advantage of his second-half arrival at scrum-half with some excellent passing and darting runs from the base of the scrum.

Both players will now be hoping to impose their rich talents on future games for their respective provinces.

Meanwhile, Gorey's Paul Boyle was part of the Connacht match day squad as they continued their bid for a quarter-final place in the Challenge Cup which was considerably helped with a 20-18 victory over Sale Sharks at the Sportsground on Saturday.

Robin Copeland is continuing his recovery from a hip injury.

Wexford People

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